GOLDEN HAR­VEST Kaduna govt secures N2b loan to boast rice pro­duc­tion

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST - From Maryam Ah­madu-Suka, Kaduna

Kaduna State gov­ern­ment has se­cured N2­bil­lion loan from Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) to boost rice pro­duc­tion in the state.

State Com­mis­sioner, Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forestry, Dr. Manzo Daniel Maigari, while brief­ing news­men at the state sec­re­tar­iat of the Nige­ria Union of Jour­nal­ists (NUJ), noted that though the loan came with 9 per­cent in­ter­est, it has been sub­si­dized by the state gover­nor, Malam Nasir El-Ru­fai in or­der to avail the peas­ant farm­ers, who are the ma­jor play­ers in the agri­cul­tural value chain, the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess the loan at zero in­ter­est rate.

He noted that since the state is nonoil pro­duc­ing one, con­certed ef­forts must be made to im­prove its econ­omy even more than the oil pro­duc­ing states.

The state is de­ter­mined to strate­gi­cally serve as agri­cul­ture hub, not only for the coun­try but the world at large, and added that re-in­tro­duc­tion of school farm pro­gramme is on course as three schools will be se­lected as pi­lot phase from the three sen­a­to­rial dis­tricts.

“We have in­ter­ven­tion that is avail­able and we have been able to se­cure a N2­bil­lion loan from CBN for rice pro­cess­ing be­cause Kaduna is a rice pro­duc­ing state,” he said.

He added that the need to in­volve the peas­ant farm­ers be­came nec­es­sary as the loan will give them the op­por­tu­nity to pro­duce more im­proved seedlings as well as hy­brid live­stock for the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

He fur­ther added that ef­forts is in top gear to re­cruit 250 ex­ten­sion work­ers and equip them with mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties to en­able them reach farm­ers apart from the col­la­tion of their data­base which is on­go­ing.

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