Edo State has joined the race to boost Agriculture in Nigeria as the state government has completed the screening and registration of about 50,000 farmers for the Central Bank of Nigeria loan in the 2016 cropping season.
According to Mr. Abubakar Sule, Edo North Zonal Manager, Edo Agricultural Development Programme, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria Auchi on Friday, out of the 50,000 farmers, 25,000 were from Edo South, 10,000 from Edo Central, while 15,000 were from Edo North.
The state declared the criteria for eligibility of the CBN loan, as it is facilitated by the state government; Individual farmers need to belong to a cooperative society to be beneficiaries.
Mr. Sule said that farmers who grow Maize, Rice, Cassava, Oil Palm and livestock such as poultry, piggery and fishery, would benefit from the facility.
He explained that the gesture was the state government’s way of assisting farmers to boost food production in the state, adding that the state government had trained its extension service workers on how to guide the farmers to reduce risk and enhance farm yields.
He further stated that EADP would ensure that farmers had access to variety of seeds and other high yielding inputs to enhance production.
In the quest to diversify Nigeria’s economy, going back to the original source of revenue – before the oil boom era – which is Agriculture, became the next stable and reliable option for government.
Other states in the country such as Abia and Anambra has made significant moves towards enhance agricultural produce in Nigeria.
Governor Peter Obiano of Anambra had recently pledge that the state would soon begin exportation of rice in other to improve the state’s economy.
The restrictions placed on importation of rice by the Nigerian Custom Service has spur many young entrepreneurs are beginning to invest in cultivation of rice and other Agricultural produce.
The fight for corruption amidst crash in oil price has plunged the country into economic hardship. Price of food and other products have escalated while the naira has further lost it value to N282.75 to the dollar.