Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, on Tuesday called for expansion of Anchor Borrower scheme, to enhance participation in the programme.
Shettima made the call in Maiduguri at the unveiling of rice pyramid organised by the state government and one of the Anchor client, Wal-Wanne and Sons Limited.
He said that the call was imperative to enable more farmers benefit from the programme, provide livelihoods and encourage agricultural activities.
Shettima said that the programme was part of the Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda designed to enhance farmers support and accelerate paddy rice production.
The governor added the programme had assisted farmers, encourage food production and enhance wealth creation among displaced farmers in the state.
“Agriculture like other sectors of the economy of the state destroyed by the insurgency. Many farmers displaced and farmlands destroyed.
“The introduction of the Anchor Borrower scheme supported farmers returned to the farms and rice production get a boost. Thousands hectares of farmlands were cultivated under the programme.
“I call for the expansion of the scheme to enable more farmers benefit from the programme in the state. I also call on farmers to utilise the support and engage in agricultural activity,” he said.
Shettima called on the residents of the state to support the programme to facilitate its successful implementation.
Alhaji Kabir Abiso, the Managing Director of the company, said the rice pyramid was designed to showcase the agricultural potentials of the state.
Abiso said that the pyramid was constructed with the paddy rice produced by farmers supported under the programme.
“Borno is one of the major rice producing areas; the idea is to showcase the agricultural potentials of the state,’’ he said.
Abiso added that his company had registered over 13, 000 rice farmers in various local government areas of the state.
He explained that the farmers were provided with fertilizers; seeds, chemicals, knapsack sprayers, tube wells, water pumps and money for farm labour activities.
He explained that each benefiting farmer cultivated one hectare of land with a six to seven tonnes production output during the raining season in Mafa, Maiduguri, Monguno, Damboa, Hawul, Biu, Kwaya-Kusar and Shani Local Government Areas.
The director added that the farmers were also exposed to modern farming techniques to encourage high yields and reduce wastage.
“More farmers are mobilised and engaged in dry season activity under the Anchor Borrower programme,” he said.
Abiso commended the Federal and Borno State Governments over its farmer support programmes.
About 18, 000 farmers were supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under Anchor Borrower scheme in the state.
Anchor Borrower 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.
The farmers recorded bumper harvest in spite of combined negative forces of insurgents’ attack, drought and pest infestation which ravaged some of the plantations.