GOLDEN HARVEST Kaduna govt secures N2b loan to boast rice production
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.