Twenty thousand rice farmers in Niger would be assisted with a N1.8 billion loan, under CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme within the next four years, Niger Coordinator of Agriculture Graduates Association of Nigeria (AGAN), has said.
The Coordinator, Malam Hussaini Iliyasu, stated this on Thursday in Minna at a stakeholders’ meeting.
The Rice Value Chain Investment Project Multi Stakeholders’ meeting was held between the State Ministry of Agriculture, IFAD, CBN and the association.
He said that 150 agricultural agents would be employed for close monitoring of farmers under the scheme to ensure they pay back their loans as at when due.
Iliyasu said that the loan would cover the entire chain of the rice sector, adding that different cooperatives were involved in these programme.
Iliyasu said that the association had done a detailed study of the total package, consisting of inputs, technical support, equipment and marketing strategies for the past three years.
The coordinator charged other relevant associations to collaborate with AGAN to avoid duplication of the programme and to ensure success of the entire programme.
He gave the assurance that all the cooperatives have been properly verified to authenticate their individual membership of AGAN.
In her remarks, the CBN representative, Mrs Margaret Sulaiman, tasked stakeholders to tap from the success story of the scheme recorded in Kebbi and Kano states.
Sulaiman urged farmers to be focused and committed to rice production, noting that this would go a long way in alleviating poverty among the teeming unemployed youths in the country.
The CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme is designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors.