From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
The Niger State Rice Farmer Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has flagged off the official of dry and wet seasons distribution of inputs for 2019 CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme to over 40,000 farmers in the state.
The State Chairman of RIFAN, Alhaji Idris Abini at the flag off ceremony at its Zone B office in Makunkele, Bosso local government warned that the distribution is not free but loan to be repaid or face prosecution.
Abini applauded the kind gesture of the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who gave agriculture the desire priority and for prompt release of funds and inputs which he assured to be distributed to the actual farmers in the state.
He lamented over lackadaisical attitude of some farmers in the repayment of loans by majority of them in the country called for concern while it is expected of farmers to pay back as loans immediately after harvest to enabled others to benefit.
He further informed that no fewer than N20 million has been recovered from the 2018 programme while he decried that a lot of loans still awaiting repayment from the beneficiaries.
Central Bank of Nigeria CBN representative, Hajiya Hassana Mohammed in her remarks charged for repayment and not a national cake perceived in some quarters hence the data capturing of all the beneficiaries who can not escape.
She stated that this is an indication of President Muhammadu Buhari sympathy for the citizens and can not condoled corruption tendencies but to ensure the economic growth of Nigerians.
The State Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Nuhu Dukku commended the foresight of the federal government as agriculture is the only alternative to oil sector for economic growth.
Represented by his Permanent Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Garba Musa who assured that with the improved seed, chemicals and fertilizer distributed will go a long way in boasting farmers yield and boost their economic base.
He reiterated the determination of the Niger State government in sustaining adequate priority given to agriculture in the state hence the need for the cultivation of large arable land in the state for agricultural development.
The event witnessed the presentations of the inputs that includes rice improved seeds, chemicals and fertilizers to both female and male farmers at Rice House in Makunkele, Bosso local government with attendance by stakeholders.