The Delta chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it has nominated 6,500 farmers for this year’s dry season farming being sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr Silver Ejezie, the state Chairman of RIFAN, said this during an interview in Asaba on Monday.
Ejezie said that the nominees would be screened by CBN and that successful farmers would be participating in the dry season farming under the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrower’s Peogramme.
He said that the list of nominees from the state rose from below 300 to 6,500 farmers because of Federal Government’s ban on rice importation.
He said that the demand for local rice in the state had steadily risen, adding that farmers had taken advantage of the import ban to make good business from rice farming.
He said that though the list of the farmers had reached the CBN, participants would be required to present their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for proper documentation.
“I submitted a list of 6,500 rice farmers who will participate in the dry season farming to the CBN in Abuja.
“There will be screening. Farmers are expected to provide their BVN after which they will qualify to receive inputs to participate in the programme.
“The challenge has been the delay in the delivery of inputs and land to cultivate, but the small farmers are operating in cooperatives to secure lands,” Ejezie said.
He said that big farmers would not have to wait for the arrival of inputs from CBN since they had commenced transplanting from nursery to the field.
“As we speak, I have started transplanting from nursery to the field while we wait for arrival of the inputs from the CBN,” he said.
Ejezie expressed the hope that the inputs, including rice seedlings, chemicals, fertilizers, water pumps and herbicides, among others, would be delivered soon to farmers in the state.