From: Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau
The Zamfara State Government has concluded arrangements to buy farm produce at a price twice the market value from 2,150 farmers in the pilot scheme of the reintroduced Zamfara Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP).
This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the state governor on ZACAREP, Alhaji Aminu Dankwangila.
Dankwangila said state government came up with the ‘double price’ system to assist farmers in improving their economic status and encourage food security in the state.
He also said each of the 2,150 farmers selected in the pilot scheme was given loan of fertilizer, seeds and cash with the agreement that they would repay the loan at zero percent with the farm produce they produced with the loan given to them.
“At the end of harvesting period, the state government will buy each 100 kg bag of rice at N14,000 which is double the price of market price of unprocessed rice which is sold N7,000 per bag. This means a farmer who is given a loan worth N200,000 will only bring about 15 bags of rice out of the many he harvested to repay his loan and the rest will be his profit,” he said.
The governor’s aide also said that the state government had selected Gummi Local Government Area for the pilot scheme starting with the 2017 dry season farming.
He said the programme, apart from making the farmers rich, would also improve food security and supply in the state and also reduce youths unemployment and rural-urban migration.
Dankwangila also said the state government has set up committees to recover the loans from the farmers, with the main committee chaired by the Gummi local government council chairman and sub committees headed by the district heads of the area.
The new ZACAREP double price system, introduced by the Governor Abdulaziz Yari administration is to be replicated in all the other 13 local government areas of the state.
Recall that ZACAREP was introduced in the state by the former Governor Ahmad Sani Yarima and it led to the state selling over 50,000 metric tonnes of grains to the federal government during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime.