Over N42bn has been disbursed to rice farmers across the country as loan facilities by the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) since the Buhari Led Administration assumed office in 2015, the managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Kabir Mohammed Adamu has said.
He added that over 1.2 million jobs have been created across the agricultural value chain of the economy within the period .
He disclosed this at the maiden flag off ceremonies of 2018 farming season jointly organized by the Bank and Kano state government at Bagauda Agricultural show ground in Bebeji local government area.
The MD who lauded the achievements recorded in the agricultural sector last year, enjoined farmers nationwide to change their perceptions about agriculture saying “farming is no longer an occupation that it used to be but a business.”
He disclosed that the sector had being the highest contributor to the economy’s Gross Domestic Product GDP in 2017 with about 26.1 percent of the total GDP and thus urged youths to key into it for the overall economic development of the country.
“Given President Muhammadu Buhari’s government emphasis on agriculture the contribution of this sector to the country’s GDP in the last two years has recorded phenomenal growth, becoming the highest real sector contributor to the GDP at 26.1% by end of 2017.
“Under the rice revolution programme of the present administration the bank as at June 14, 2018 administered and disbursed facilities worth over N42bn to 300 farming families to cultivate rice maize soya beans wheat cotton on over 300, 000 hecters of land nationwide.
“Other enterprises that anchor borrower grant covers is poultry and fish as a result of this the following impacts have been created: gross production has risen from 800, 000 metric tones in 2016 to voer 1.5million metric tones in 2017.
“The programme was able to engage 116 input providers and 66 processors in 2018 and created tremendous employment to Nigerians. In this wise through bank of agriculture alone we have generated employment to over 1.2million Nigerians in agricultural sector” the MD said.