From Adamu Yusuf, Kaduna
Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kaduna State chapter on Monday distributed rice seedlings, fertilisers and pesticides to benefitting farmers for the 2021 wet planting season.
The Association how said that, it has ensured that all the beneficiaries are in areas of the state which are not or less affected by banditry.
The distribution was done for RIFAN farmers in the three Senatorial zones of the State, with zone one having 900 farmers, zone two, 190 farmers, and zone three, 300 farmers.
Speaking at the presentation of the agricultural inputs, RIFAN State chairman, Alhaji Muhammad Umar Numbu said the inputs are loans which the beneficiaries have to pay either in cash or commodity exchange during harvest season.
According to him, “On behalf of Kaduna State Rice Farmers Association, you are welcome to 2021 wet season special project. As it is today we are operating in the three Senatorial zones of Kaduna State.
“In zone one we have about three clusters, in zone two we have a cluster and zone three we have a cluster. And it goes like this; in zone one we have 900 farmers, 900 hectares, so it is one farmer, one hectare. They are the beneficiaries of this inputs distribution.
“We are distributing fertilisers, 30kg of improved rice seedling and inputs and pesticides. This is to ensure the boost in rice production in Kaduna State under RIFAN anchor borrowers programme.
“We have Coordinators in the three Senatorial zones to ensure proper distribution of the inputs. In two we have 190 farmers. Each farmer is entitled to a hectare. In zone three we have 300 farmers. Each farmer to a hectare. But because of insecurity in zone three we only limit the cluster to Sanga local government area. Sanga has 300 clusters.
“And by November we will start proper registration of farmers for dry season farming. We will keep these farmers and monitor their farming activities in fertilisers and inputs application from today till harvest.
“At harvest time RIFAN will receive its loan payment 100 percent. We pray that the farmers succeed because if they succeed they will have surplus. We will collect our own. And if the farmers choose to sell the rice to us, we will buy them instantly. If you are not selling we allow you to take it home.
“We know what is happening in Kaduna State in terms of security challenges, so the cluster we marked are free from insecurity. There is no much security challenges in those areas. We pray that insecurity should be curtailed in those areas as farmers go into activities”.
The RIFAN chairman also recalled that, “With the help of the national President of RIFAN, in collaboration with the yearning of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, that Nigeria should be able to feed the nation, in terms of food production, and so we in RIFAN have taken over rice production in the country and mostly in Kaduna State”.
Asked to comment on security challenges which does not allow farmers to concentrate on farming activities in the State, Alhaji Numbu said the cluster areas marked for the farming activities have little or no security issues.