Sunday 23rd July, 2017
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Ganduje lauds increasing rice, wheat production in Kano

Ganduje lauds increasing rice, wheat production in Kano

When he assumed office in May 29, 2015, Governor Abdullahi Umar Gandu­je, conscious of the enor­mous task ahead of him occasioned by huge back­log of debts left by his pre­decessor, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and the dwindling price of oil at the international mar­ket, he made a pledge to diversify the source of the state’s revenue earnings by among other steps, invest­ing hugely in agriculture, particularly in the area of rice and wheat produc­tion. Ganduje’s campaign for massive production of rice and wheat has how­ever paid, as it has not only received the com­mendation of the Feder­al Government, but has also shown impressive and significant increase in the production of rice and wheat in the state.
 
No wonder Governor Ganduje was full of joy last week end when he personally assessed the rising profile of rice and wheat production in the state. Ganduje disclosed that the rice produced by farmers in the state rose from 692, 481 tonnes in 2015 to 1, 551, 720 tonnes last year, reflecting an in­crease of about 95.2 per­cent, adding that, “wheat production in the state in­creased from 9, 495, 024 tonnes in 2015 to 17, 717, 000 tonnes in 2016, show­ing a swell of 84 percent”.
 
Ganduje who spoke during an Interactive Session on loan recovery with Farmers, on the Cen­tral Bank of Nigeria/Bank of Agriculture/Kano state
 
 Rice Anchor - Borrowers Programme, at Kano Seed Processing Center, Kada­wa, Garun Malam Lo­cal Government area last weekend, further revealed that the bumper harvest recorded last year in Kano showed a significant in­crease in the production of other commodities like maize, millet, groundnut and cow peas, expressing that with the government’s commitment, barring un­anticipated developments, the output would be mul­tiplied this year.
 
On impediments to the farmers’ productivity, the governor said: “I have no­ticed that there are two major issues in Anchor-Borrower Programme. Farmers are complain­ing that they are not get­ting the assistance at the time they need it, and that constituted a major prob­lem. Secondly, those who are involved in the scheme (CBN and BOA) are com­plaining that farmers are not paying back what has been given to them.” Con­sequently, he promised that these issues as well as that of availability of in­puts would be addressed, between the government and the banks involved, to ensure that farmers get appropriate assistance and other required inter­vention duly.The gover­nor instantly directed that the supplier providing the government with fertilizer to provide the commodity the farmers from the fol­lowing day (Sunday), as­suring that anything the farmers need would be provided to them to en­sure hitch free productiv­ity. However, Governor Ganduje urged benefi­ciaries of the CBN/BOA/Kano state Rice Anchor - Borrowers Programme to ensure that they repay the loan given them accord­ingly since it is a revolving facility that will pave way for other farmers to bene­fit, pointing out the state is poised to increase its rice production to about half of the country’s rice re­quirement this year.
 
He maintained that his administration would concentrate more on ag­riculture this year to en­sure multiplication of farmers output, pointing out that the administra­tion recognizes the fact that it must work hard to improve capacity of farm­ers and address the many factors that contribute to their minimal productiv­ity, stating that, “econom­ic realities have shown that Nigeria’s future pros­perity depends on invest­ment in our farmers, to enable them become well prepared to revamp food productivity as oil mon­ey is no longer coming in as usual”, the governor as­serted.
 
According to him, the Federal government is doing everything possible to help farmers including professional services, ag­ricultural inputs and con­cessional loans to enhance food security and reduce dependence on oil, whose price has crashed in the international market. Ear­lier, the representative of Central Bank of Nigeria, AbdulKadir Ahmad said the guarantee given by the state government was behind the success of the programme, highlighting that N960 million was al­located to Kano farmers and each got N367, 000 worth of loan, in terms of seedlings, pesticides, al­lied agricultural inputs and cash.
 
Also speaking, the Chairman, Kano Anchor Borrower Recovery Team, Prof. Mahmud Ibrahim Daneji clarified that about 5,540 farmers benefit­ed from the program and some have started pay­ing back with farm pro­duce, as agreed between the stakeholders, urging others to expedite repay­ment to avoid legal action against them. Some of the farmers that spoke at the session, including Yu­suf Babba Danagundi ex­pressed satisfaction with the programme but com­plained that the support given to them were re­leased belatedly and fertil­izer was not readily avail­able, among other things.

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