The Kwara Government said on Thursday that by November it would begin to harvest the rice cultivated by its small holder farmers under CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
Mr. Adegoke Bamidele, the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, disclosed this in Ilorin while receiving a Community Scorecard on smallholder farmers’ accessibility to Agriculture financing in Nigeria.
The scorecard was presented by the Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication, a partner of ActionAid Nigeria.
Also speaking, Malam Ahmed Mohammed, the Director, Agricultural Engineering, and Services in the ministry, said the government started the programme with the cultivation of 50 hectares of rice at Tsada Tshonga in Edu Local Government Area of the state.
Mohammed explained that the state keyed into the programme under the Hyst Global Business Limited/Anchor Borrower programme.
Hyst is a rice milling company based in Abuja.
He added that another 3,000 hectares would be cultivated across the state in the dry season.
“The plan is to ensure that Kwara produce enough rice to feed the whole North-Central states.
“N1 billion has just been approved for that by the state House of Assembly,” he said.
The commissioner also stated that another N1 billion is being disbursed to “off-taker’’ farmers under the state’s Off-taker Demand Driven Agricultural Loan scheme.
According to him, the scheme will involve the allocation of land, agricultural inputs and funds for the labourers.
He said that the state government had approved the purchase of 20,000 tonnes of fertilizer for onward distribution to farmers under the scheme.