The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 has commended the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Speaking on Saturday, at the flag off of the dry season wheat farming and distribution of wheat seeds as well as other farm inputs to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State, the Sultan appreciated the CBN for making the dry season farming possible with its support of funds for the programme saying that the Bank’s commitment is worthy of celebration at all times. Alhaji Abubakar maintained that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is key to ensuring food security for the nation.
The Royal father enjoined farmers to continue to be diligent in their farming activities as oil will only provide funds but will not put food on the table.
Speaking further, the Sultan said there is need for partnership between governments at all a level to evolve solution to end the farmers and herdsmen crisis. He added that the inability to resolve the crisis will frustrate government efforts at food security and make the exercise to end in futility.
Sultan Abubakar III gave his assurance that government can count on his support in tackling the incessant crisis between the two groups.
In his remarks, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the commendation should be directed to President Muhammadu Buhari for showing focus and commitment in diversifying from oil and gas to agriculture and reduces heavy reliance on imported food into the country.
Mr. Emefiele commended the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for the purchase and distribution of farm inputs to the farmers at highly subsidized rate. Emefiele assured that with the Sokoto State meeting its equity counterpart funding, the state will access the N220 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
He also assured that the ABP loans will be disbursed in due course through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
The Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the State with an estimated population of about five million, almost 85% of the population are engaged in farming as their main occupation. The former Speaker of House of Representives said the crux/objective of agriculture in Sokoto State is to reduce poverty and achieve sustenance farming to help cater for the well being of the farmers.
Alhaji Tambuwal disclosed that with the advent of the Anchor Borrowers’ Progrmme, 12,000 wheat and 25,000 rice farmers have been registered as well as the establishment of small holder millers for wheat in Eleven Local Government Areas and 12 LGAs for rice production in Sokoto State.
He assured that the State government will continue to pursue policy framework that will ensure the improvement of Agriculture and its value chains.
He reinstated CBN’s commitment in diversifying from oil to agriculture. “He said our commitment is resolute and we will continue in our quest to diversify from oil and make the rural farmers millionaires”.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of farm inputs as wheat seeds, fertilizers, and hand held water pumps to the farmers as well as a visits to the Flour Mills Nigeria in Taloka and Goronyo Dam built in 1984 and has the capacity to irrigate 36,000 hectares of farm lands by gravity and 88,000 at the optimum potentials/capacity.