By Ugonnabo Ngwu

Rice farmers in Mani Local Government Area of Katsina State have commended the Federal Government for its agricultural initiatives, particularly the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP, which they described as a life-saving programme.

The Chairman of Rice Farmers’ Association in Nigeria, RIFAN, in Mani Local Government Area, Jamilu Ibrahim-Boyi, conveyed the commendation in an interview with newsmen in Mani on Tuesday.

He stated that millions of farmers are currently participating in the programme nationwide, stressing that this has led to an increase in rice production in the country.

Ibrahim-Boyi stated that under the programme, many farmers in rural areas were able to access farm inputs easily, adding that the programme has created some wealthy farmers.

He said that more than 1,000 farmers in Mani LGA had benefited from the supply of agricultural inputs under the ABP, and assured that rice farmers would continue to support the government’s efforts to make Nigeria to attain food security.

He said that each farmer was provided with bags of fertilisers as well as insecticides, herbicides, sprayers, seedlings and water pumping machines.

Ibrahim-Boyi said that 295 rice farmers were registered under the first phase of the programme in the last dry season farming, stressing that loan repayment had reached 40 per cent.

He added that the association had received 350 bags of paddy rice as loan repayment.

The RIFAN chief said that 115 farmers were registered during the last wet season farming and the beneficiaries were given assorted agricultural inputs.

He said that the association at the time received 120 bags of paddy rice from the registered farmers as loan repayment.

Ibrahim-Boyi pledged that the association would continue to monitor the implementation of the ABP, saying: “We would not hesitate to confiscate the implements of any erring farmer and sanction him’’.