The FCT chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has distributed farm inputs to its members across the territory.
The FCT Chairman of RIFAN, Alhaji Abubakar Dahiru Zuba, performed the flagging off ceremony in Gwagwalada yesterday where he distributed sprayers, agro chemicals, seedlings, fertiliser, water pumping machines and tractors to the farmers.
Alhaji Abubakar said the association had identified 2,555 genuine rice farmers across the six area councils, who he said were going to benefit from the inputs.
According to him, the farm inputs would be given to the beneficiaries as loans, which they would pay back through their yields at harvest.
He said, “Actually, RIFAN took its time to go round to identify the genuine rice farmers, and we have registered 2,555 of them across the FCT and they are the ones that are benefiting from the inputs.”
Also speaking, an extension worker of RIFAN, Alhaji Zakari Adamu Gbedako, stressed on the need for residents of the territory to embrace rice farming which he said was now the major stay of the country’s economy.
Similarly, the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), yesterday, also flagged off the distribution of inputs to its members in Bwari, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) maize Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
The event, which took place at the Bwari Area Council secretariat, also set the stage for the nationwide distribution to maize farmers under the association.
Dr. Edwin Uche, the national president of the association, said over 70,000 farmers across the country were participating in the ABP under the association.
He said each farmer was getting N182,000 per hectare to support production, adding that the money had inputs and cash embedded.
Dr. Uche further said, “Other services captured in the programme include technical support, extension services and land preparation.
“The event today is a national flag off. We are passionate about ensuring that the farmers grow based on global best practices and have the actual yields that will enable them pay their loans, come out of poverty, help their families and build their local economy.
“Consider the kind of quality seed we are giving them from Seedco Nigeria. We are expecting a minimum of five tonnes per hectare, and when a farmer is paying with two tonnes, he has three tonnes as profit; which no civil servant earns in three months.”
Dr. Tunde Faturoti, the Managing Director of SeedCo Nigeria, the seed provider, said the seed provided on the programme was high-yielding and could give a farmer seven tonnes per hectare if the best practice was followed.