The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Bauchi State chapter, has urged the Federal Government to introduce additional measures that will enhance rice production and processing in the country.
The Chairman of the association in Bauchi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adamu, made the appeal in an interview with Newsmen on Friday, in Bauchi.
The Chairman disclosed that such measures would lead to bumper harvests and an expanded market for the commodity.
He added that government should, as a matter of policy, introduce orientation programmes on new farming techniques for farmers through effective use of the media.
“The government could achieve this by engaging agricultural extension workers to educate farmers using the media,” he said.
The RIFAN chairman also noted that the enhancement of rice milling processes, the development of water sources for dry season farming by drilling of tube wells, dams and other water sources would expand the scope of rice production nationwide.
Adamu further explained that concerted efforts by relevant stakeholders on value addition would improve the milling process and marketing as well as enhance the production of the commodity, adding that added it would encourage more farmers to partake in the venture.
RIFAN chairman, Bauchi chapter stated that the branch was considering the possibility of involving traditional rulers in the implementation of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme for its members.
Such a strategy would check defaulters who had refused to repay their loans as well as enable the chapter to determine the deserving farmers.
The chapter would not condone the bad attitudes of some farmers who benefitted from the loan but defaulted in their repayment.
Traditional rulers would be needed to guarantee that an individual farmer would repay before accessing the loan, the stated.
He described the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme as one of the best agricultural policies ever introduced in the country.
Adamu said that the scheme had enhanced food security, generated employment opportunities and put substantial income in the hands of many farmers.
He urged the Federal Government to sustain its collaboration with relevant agricultural bodies such as the farmers’ groups with a view to orienting them on how they could become certified farmers.
The Bauchi chapter of RIFAN recently registered 13,577 additional farmers into the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.