From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi.
The Benue State Government says it would fully participate in the CBN- Anchor Borrower Programme this year with a view to ensuring food security in the state and the country at large.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. James Anbua, disclosed this while presenting the score card of his ministry at the ongoing Transparency and Accountability Press Briefing organized by the Benue State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Anbua who noted that the state governor, Samuel Ortom immediately keyed into the scheme when he got to know in May last year that farmers in the state could participate in the programme and committed a total of N27 million to the project to assist farmers.
“The program was going on but not many people in the state knew about it until the governor visited the CBN and discovered that the state can also participate. Although, Miva Rice was the anchor in 2016, government played the role of encouraging and mobilizing farmers to key into the programme.”
He revealed that the state government supported the training and certification of 16,950 farmers to qualify for participation in the programme for the rice and soya bean enterprises out of which only 8,700 farmers benefited through a bank of Agriculture and Excellent Micro Finance Bank.
The Agriculture Commissioner said the state government was already working towards reviving marketing boards with a view to anchoring the programme through them instead of depending on private anchors this year (2017).
Earlier, Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Chris Atsaka commended the State Governor, Samuel Ortom for approving the event adding that the briefing was to allow all ministries, departments and agencies in the state give account of their activities in the last one year.
So far, Ministries that have presented their scorecards at the event include Information and Orientation, Agriculture and Natural Resources as well as Women Affairs and Social Development.