Alhaji Shaibu Wakili, Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Katsina State has said that 17,400 rice farmers had been registered to benefit from the N4 billion loan package for dry season farming.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently approved N4 billion loan package for dry season rice farmers in the state to enable them boost their production.
Fielding questions with the News men, Wakili said under the facility, each farmer was expected to cultivate between one and five hectares of land.
He said that each farmer would receive inputs, worth N276, 200 for the cultivation of the crop.
The inputs include seeds, fertiliser, spraying machine, liquid fertiliser, insecticide, water pumping machine and empty bags among others.
According to him, the companies contracted to supply inputs had delivered over 70 per cent of the items to various centres.
He listed the centres to include Katsina, Daura, Kankia, Dutsin-ma, Malumfashi and Funtua.
Wakili said the programme aimed at improving rice production, reducing poverty and empowering the farmers.
He said the farmers would start to repay the loan after harvesting their produce.
The chairman said RIFAN had conducted a survey on the location and size of farmlands of the registered beneficiaries.
“We have captured information about farmers pertaining to the location of their farm and what they are entitled to,’’ he said.
He said that with the success of the programme, Nigeria could be able to produce enough rice for domestic consumption and for export.
“We want to ensure that we produce the rice we consume in Nigeria by empowering our local farmers through the programme.’’
He told Newsnen that a two per cent insurance cover is expected to be paid to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Cooperation (NAIC) by each benefiting farmer.