The Central Bank of Nigeria has set aside over N5.7 billion loan to 10,000 farmers to encourage dry season wheat farming in Bauchi State.
The CBN Comptroller, Bauchi Branch, Saladu Idris, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the programme at the National Union of Journalist Secretariat in Bauchi on Thursday, said that 4,500 farmers have so far benefitted in the state.
He said that the CBN has taken proactive steps by reaching out to the farmers through associations so that only those targeted would benefit.
Idris said, “This dry seasoning farming is a very easy thing that people can do. The CBN has observed that all the flour mills in Nigeria have become moribund. everything is at a standstill. It observed that wheat is imported into the country and this requires the use of dollars which is difficult to access and it is as a result of this that the CBN decided to set aside some money to give farmers to encourage wheat farming.
“Each farmer is supposed to get a minimum of N370,000 per hectare and the other inputs which include the bags of seedlings, the six bags of urea, four bags of NPK, the pumping machine, and the spraying machine. All these are given to a farmer per hectare
The total amount of money set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria for wheat farming in Bauchi state alone is over N5.7 billion. We have budgeted to fund 10,000 farmers. So far, we have distributed to about 4,500 farmers in Bauchi state.
The CBN Comptroller lamented that some farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme for rice farming have defaulted and have failed to pay back the loan.
He said, “Most people have paid back but there are a few who have failed to pay back. We called the leaders of the rice farmers associations and reported these people to them. They gave us the assurance that they will follow them up and ensure that they pay.