1,500 rice farmers have been equipped with various farming implements in Daura Katsina State.
According to reports the empowerment was done under the phase 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers Scheme, an official has confirmed.
The Chairman Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Nura Baure, disclosed this in Daura on Thursday during the distribution of the farming implements to registered farmers, said that each farmer had received two bags of fertilizers, two bottles of herbicides and a water pumping machine.
Also given to the farmers, he said, were a bag of improved seedlings, two liters of liquid fertilizer and a bag of organic fertilizer.
He put the monetary value of the implements at N275,000 per beneficiary which would be repaid within one year.
“The loan repayment must be in bags of paddy rice, not cash,” he explained.
Baure warned the farmers against diverting the implements or defaulting in repayment, saying that a mobile court had been established to try defaulters.
He said that the scheme was aimed at promoting mass production of rice, through a revolving loan procedure, so as to empower millions of farmers in line with the objectives of the ancho borrowers programme.
In his remarks, the state chairman of RIFAN, Alhaji Shuaibu Wakili, assured the beneficiaries that those who repaid would be reconsidered without delay.
He said that 18,000 farmers across the 34 local government areas of the state were expected to benefit.
Wakili said that the programme was being funded by the federal government and facilitated by the CBN, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance and Cooperative Bank.
He lauded the efforts of the Katsina Sate Government in facilitating the implementation of the programme, especially during the farmland mapping out survey and the bank processes.
Malam Idris Mohammed, a beneficiary, commended the federal government for the programme and promised that repayment would not be a problem.