The importance of Agriculture to the economy cannot be quantified more especially in the present economic crunch where all other sources of revenue have dwindled. Besides, agriculture is the only dependable activity that could guarantee food security apart from its economic benefits, hence, the federal government saw the need to diversify the economy with much priority to agriculture.
Nigeria is blessed with vast arable land that can sustain commercial agriculture for both cash crops and food crops. Oil revenue in the global market has continued to shrink and agriculture becomes the alternative economic base that could replace dependency on oil. The Federal Government, therefore, did not hesitate to go back to agric which used to be the mainstay of the economy prior to the discovery of oil. “Go back to the land and develop agriculture because the era of depending on oil is
over’’ that was the message of President Muhammadu Buhari to farmers when he lunched the dry season and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Rice Borrowers Programme in Birnin Kebbi on the 17th of November 2015. It could also be recalled that the President has made no secret of his determination to improve the base of Nigeria’s economy by reviving agriculture and opening the mines among other measures.
This month’s clock one year of the CBN Anchor Rice Borrowers Programme in Kebbi state; the program aims to boost rice and wheat production in Nigeria by providing loans to farmers.
Thousands of farmers have seized the opportunity created by the Central Bank Anchor Borrowers Programme to expand rice output it has been celebration galore for rice farmers in the state as they claimed to have recorded high bumper harvest in comparison with previous years. The kebbi state Governor , Chairman National Task Force on Rice and wheat Atiku Bagudu and his Deputy Samaila Yombe along with Chairman of the state’s Rice Farmers’ Association, Alhaji Sahabi Augie conveyed journalists round to see for themselves place like Augie, Kalgo, Dandi, Bunza, suru, wasagu and Birnin kebbi local government areas where farmers where seen displaying and celebrating their bumper harvest .
Interestingly, Kebbi state has surpassed the one million tonnes of rice targeted for harvest in the year with over eight hundred and fifty tonnes.
The chairman rice farmers Association Sahabi Augie said the yield increase was due to improved seedlings and the assistance rendered to farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the CBN with over 500,000 hectares of cultivated land across ten local government areas of the state. He explained that the variety of rice cultivated in kebbi include Nerica7 and 84 as well as faro 44,52, and 61 with farming occurring thrice through the dry, wet, dry season within a year with Rima and sokoto river serving the dry season irrigation farming.
Source: The Nation