2 min read
By Joy Odigie
Benin – The Edo Government says it will invest N2.2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s N5 billion loan secured under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme on crop production in the state.
Mr Joe Okojie, Special Adviser to the Edo Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, made the disclosure in Benin on Thursday during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okojie said N1.2 billion of the N2.2 billion would be expended on rice production in Iguariaki, Iguomon, Illushi, Agenebode and Warake as well as maize production in Ekpoma, Usugbenu and Sobe.
“We are targeting to harvest 17,000 metric tonnes of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land and 11,000 tonnes of maize by cultivating 6,600 hectares of land at the end of the 2019 planting season.
“We took about N5 billion under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (Anchor Borrowers Programme). About N2.2bn is for crop production, N2.3 billion for land development and about N100m for irrigation.’’
He said the government’s aim of the investment was to produce millionaire agriprenuer farmers by helping them to scale up their production via mechanisation.
“We have employed the services of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) that is going to be our technical partner.
‘‘They (NIRSAL) are going to bring on board a lot of agronomists that will help our farmers.
“We are trying to see how we can deploy best practices for the cultivation of the crops this season. ‘‘We hope that we will get better yields than the one that we got two years ago,” Okogie said.
He added that farmers to benefit from the programme in Iguoriaki, Iguomon, Ovia North East, Ekpoma, Esan West, Usugbenu, Esan Central and Illushi Esan South East Local Governments had been sensitised on how to access the loan.
Source; Sundiata Post