By Obinna Unaeze
Minna – The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Niger chapter, on Saturday said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved the participation of 12, 000 members in the 2019 Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
Alhaji Idris Abini, chairman RIFAN in the state, disclosed this in Minna in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Abini said that out of 24, 000 members that applied for the programme 12, 000 met the requirements.
“We have 24, 000 farmers but this year only 12, 000 farmers, who met the requirements, were approved by the CBN,” he said.
He explained that some of the requirements included a genuine bank account, existing farm, being a genuine rice farmer and being a member of RIFAN.
The RIFAN Chairman said that the farmers were supported with farm implements such as water pumps, sprayers and tractors.
He said the farmers also got inputs such as improved rice seeds, herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers.
Abini said the farmers suffered huge losses in 2018 as a result of flooding that submerged their farms.
“We are grateful to the Federal Government and Niger state government that came to our aid in form of insurance compensation.
“The affected farmers also got improved seeds and fertilisers,” he said.
He expressed optimism of increased yield this year due to the torrential rains.
“We are experiencing good rainfall so far, though, we have minor cases of flooding affecting our farms,” he said.