Borno has the capacity to deliver Nigeria’s rice requirements with continuous support by the Federal Government, Alhaji Bulama Maina, the Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has said.
Maina made this known on Thursday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
”Borno has a vast and fertile land for rice and wheat production in Nigeria and West Africa in general. The land along the shores of Lake Chad is fertile and can be cultivated without fertiliser.
“If there is security, farmers can make use of the Chad Basin irrigation schemes in Abadam, New Marte and Dikwa.
”The Jere bowl, comprising 22 000 hectares, can contribute more than 30 000 tonnes to the country’s rice production annually.
”In fact, the land we have, no state has in Nigeria and the whole of West Africa. ‘We have over 50,000 registered rice farmers in Borno,” he said.
He also because of the insecurity, only eight out of the 27 Local Government Areas of the state were befitted from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under its Anchor Borrower scheme.
The scheme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation programme designed to enhance farmers support services, to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.
The chairman also said that in 2018, only 1,300 farmers benefited, while in 2019, only 2,700 farmers benefited from the programme.
Maina called for necessary action to end the security challenges in Borno.
”We are also calling on the federal government and intervention agencies to establish special programmes for Borno farmers.
”The insurgency has cost us a lot. Farmers could not key into the various agricultural interventions of the federal government to boost rice production in the state,” he added.
Also speaking to NAN, the State Secretary of RIFAN, Babagana Ali said the association was making efforts to recover the 2019 loans from beneficiaries.
Ali lauded the support given to the state leadership of RIFAN by the National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo in the recovery effort.
He called for cooperation of all stakeholders in the state to boost rice production. (NAN)