An agriculturist, Dr Abiso Kabir, says the success recorded in the counter-insurgency campaign has facilitated the resurgence of agricultural activity in the North East.
Kabir, an agro-allied businessman, told the News men in Maiduguri that the feat achieved in the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents had encouraged thousands of farmers to return to their farms.
He recalled that crop, livestock as well as fisheries production were paralysed in the wake of the insurgency, but government’s commitment to restoration of peace in the region helped remedy the situation.
“We had a very difficult era during the insurgency because at that period the issue of farming was completely low.
“People farmed behind their houses because of fear; you cannot farm when there are issues of insecurity, rural farming ceased to exist at that time.
“With the new initiated Anchor Borrower programme and security regained, people go to the extent of leaving their houses, headed to other areas and started farming activities. Our economy in terms of agricultural output has been achieved.
“So we really thank Mr President.’’
He noted that his company, a client of the Anchor Borrower programme had registered 13,000 rice farmers in Borno.
He said the farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, chemicals, knapsack sprayers, tube wells, water pumps and money for farm labour.
According to him, the farmers cultivate 13,000 hectares of land during the rainy season in Mafa, Maiduguri, Monguno, Damboa, Hawul, Biu, Kwaya-Kusar and Shani local government areas.
He added that the benefiting farmers were also exposed to modern farming techniques to encourage high yields and reduce waste.
“More farmers are mobilised and engaged in dry season activity under the Anchor Borrower programme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” he said.
He also said the company have in stock about 36,000 bags of paddy rice in Biu and Maiduguri.
While commending the Borno State Government over its farmer support programme, Kabir called for the expansion of the Anchor Borrower programme to enhance participation.
The programme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation programme designed to enhance farmers support services to achieve self sufficiency in rice production.
About 18,000 farmers were registered under the Anchor Borrower programme in the state.