Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Oyo State says it has received farm inputs worth N17.8 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
The state Chairman of RIFAN, Mr Victor Korede, said this in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.
He said that no fewer than 59 rice farmers had received farm inputs for dry season farming, while about 100 rice farmers were similarly expected to get inputs for wet season farming.
“Other services include farm mapping, extension services and aggregation of harvested produce and insurance by Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC).
“The RIFAN/CBN model is a strategic partnership between the CBN and RIFAN to increase domestic rice production, in support of the Federal Government’s agenda to ban rice importation in 2018.
“The partnership came right on time, as it will surely boost our protection and make our members to sell their produce in a profitable and ready market,” he said.
Korede also noted that the scheme would enhance the ability of the farmers to engage in dry-season and wet-season rice cultivation.
He urged the beneficiaries to resist the temptation of selling the products, saying that they should use the facilities judiciously so as to enable them to enjoy other agricultural development programmes of the Federal Government.
He pledged the readiness of the rice farmers to increase rice production in the state.
Inadequate Govt Support, Environment Hamper Small Scale Agric
articipants at a workshop on ‘Agriculture Budget Monitoring, Tracking and Advocacy’ organized by Action Aid Nigeria (AAN) have identified lack of adequate support from government, policy inconsistencies and environmental factors as some of the factors militating against agricultural development and food production especially among small scale women farmers.
They also said that oil spillage, farmers/herders conflicts, lack of access to land, credit facilities, market, information and the non-involvement in policy formulation of small scale farmers by government at all levels must be addressed to ensure food security in the country.
A gender and economic empowerment expert, Boyowa Roberts, said it is time for the government to come up with policies that will encourage farmers, especially the small-scale farmers, who constitute more than 70 percent of the Nigerian population.
She recalled that the 2005 Maputo Declaration mandated countries to allocate 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture and wondered why the Federal Government was only allocating two percent to the sector in the 2018 budget.
An ActionAid partner and the executive director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), Gift Omoniwa, said community sponsorship of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) is channeled towards helping the poorest of the poor who live in excluded communities across Nigeria to raise their standard of living.