The Edo State Government said it is investing N5 billion gotten from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme to develop over 10,600 hectares of land.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, PJoe Okojie, reported this yesterday during sensitisation workshops for benefiting farmers in Ekpoma, Usogbenu and Illushi. He said the fund would guarantee farmers access to funding to boost productivity. Also, Okojie said N1.2 billion would be expended on rice farming in Iguariaki, Iguomon, Illushi, Agenebode and Warake as well as on maize cultivation in Ekpoma, Usugbenu and Sobe.
“We have set a target to harvest 17,000 metric tons of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land and 11,000 tons of maize by cultivating 6,600 hectares of land at the end of the planting season in 2019. We took about N5 billoon under the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme, about N2.2bn is for crop production, N2.3bn for land development and about N100m for irrigation,” he said.
According to him, the investment is aimed at assisting farmers to scale up their production through mechanisation, saying that the state want to deploy best practices for the cultivation of the crops for better yield this season.
“We have employed the services of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as our technical partner. NIRSAL is going to bring on board a lot of agronomists who will help our farmers.