The Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has said the state government has concluded plans to relaunch the Anchor Borrowers Programme in the state with no fewer than 100, 000 farmers benefiting.
Already, the governor has directed that no less than 5,000 farmers be enrolled under the scheme before the end of February, 2016.
The acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Kehinde Oloruntoba, made the disclosure after a meeting between top government officials and a contingent form the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said the governor had mandated his ministry to ensure that no less than 100,000 people are fully engaged in farming before the end of the 2017 rainy season.
The Anchor Borrowers Programme, which is a federal government initiative designed to encourage farming in the states, was recently inaugurated in the state but only 1, 668 farmers were registered.
Oloruntoba said Bello had directed his team to come up with strategies to ensure maximum and effective utilisation of the facility.
“We are relaunching the programme with renewed vigour and better plans. We are moving our equipment out to sites and will be clearing large parcels of land while simultaneously registering farmers on the scheme.
“We are focusing primarily on rice and aquaculture. We are using Omi Dam and Girinya Dam for this pilot project and the Governor Excellency has asked us to ensure that no less than 100, 000 jobs are created before the end of this year.”
The Commissioner solicited the support of all well-meaning and hardworking people of the state to support the government’s efforts to make agriculture the main revenue earner for the state.
He reiterated his ministry’s commitment to support all farmers that are willing to help achieve the objective.
The Anchor Borrowers Programme is a federal government scheme managed by the CBN where the apex bank provides credit facilities to registered farmers in form of farm inputs.