The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says 19, 000 of its 28,000 registered members in Kano State have so far benefitted from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower programme during the 2019 rainy season.
Kano State RIFAN chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, said each of the beneficiaries received four bags of fertilizer, one water pump machine, two litres of liquid fertilizer and 30 kilogrammes of seedlings, as total package of the loan.
“The CBN approved the loan for 28, 000 farmers but it has so far been disbursed to 19, 000 farmers even though the disbursement is ongoing,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the farmers in the state would witness bumper harvest in view of the stability of the rains recorded this year.
He commended the Federal Government for taking the necessary steps to check rice importation, adding that the measure had encouraged many people to go into large scale production of the commodity in the state.
The chairman expressed satisfaction with the Anchor Borrower programme and called for its sustenance to boost food production in the country.
He called on the beneficiaries of the loan to ensure prompt repayment of the facility to enable more farmers to benefit as the CBN would not approve new loans until after repayment of the current one.
He lamented that many farmers had yet to refund the loan they collected during the 2017 and 2018 farming seasons.
The RIFAN Boss disclosed that the Bank had directed the association to take legal action against all defaulters to serve as a deterrent to other would-be defaulters.
“We have since sent them demand notice and any farmer who fails to meet the deadline will be prosecuted,” he said.