The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has thrown support to the cultivation of 2,000 hectares out-grower farms in Borno to produce improved variety seedlings and accelerate paddy rice production.
The seeds nurseries were established at Dusuman and Zabalmari villages in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno, under the apex bank’s Anchor Borrower scheme.
Anchor Borrower programme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda designed to encourage crop production and processing to achieve self-sufficiency.
It is also aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to fertilisers, seeds, and inputs; promote farmer enterprising skills, value addition and create market for the produce.
The programme is being implemented by the CBN in collaboration with Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and designated agricultural input dealers otherwise called “private anchors”.
Mr Mahmood Nyako, the Head of Development Finance Office (DFO) of the CBN Office in Maiduguri, made the disclosure during a field inspection of the seeds nursery in Konduga.
Nyako disclosed that the out-grower farms were designed to enhance farmers’ access to improved variety seedlings and encourage productivity.
He explained that the anchor clients would commence distribution of the seedlings to the registered farmers for transplanting next week in order to achieve maximum yields.
“We inspected the seed nursery with farmers, anchor clients and extension personnel accredited by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“The extension experts advised us to commence distribution of the seedlings for transplanting by next week in order to achieve higher yields at harvest.
“They also sensitised farmers on tillage, spacing, proper application of chemicals and other farming skills,” he said.
Nyako added that the bank had distributed fertilisers, seeds and chemicals to farmers through the designated anchor clients, to boost paddy rice, maize, cotton and sorghum production in the state.
According to him, the bank is also providing support to the up-takers to encourage development of mills, processing and value addition as well as create market for the produce.
Nyako called on the farmers to ensure effective utilization of the inputs and engage in productive activities to enable them repay the loans and ensure sustainability of the programme.
Also, Alhaji Abba Kale, the Manager of Kalef Ventures, an anchor consultant, disclosed that the seedlings would be distributed to 5, 000 registered farmers in Konduga and Jere Local Government Areas of the state.
Kale explained that the company provided technical services to the anchor clients, who distributed inputs and money for farm labour activities to the benefiting farmers.
He added that the company had also established a rice mill at Dusuman community to up-take paddy rice produced by farmers in the area.
“We set up a modern mill in the community to mop up grain produced by farmers, process and package it for local consumption and export.”