Distribution of inputs to 9, 500 rice farmers begins in Sokoto

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the distribution commenced on March 8 with identification and screening of the farmers.

NAN reports that each of the 9, 500 rice farmers across the state would receive N277, 000 per hectare as well as water pumping machine and accessories, sprayer and accessories, two bags of NPK and Urea fertilizer.

Other inputs included two litres of herbicide, liquid fertilizer and 25 Kg of rice seeds.

Alhaji Ibrahim Salihu, the Chairman, Sokoto state chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) called on Federal Government to open additional collection centres to cover all the 23 local government areas in the state.

Salihu, told NAN at the distribution centre in Gwadabawa that expansion of distribution centres from the current four would ease transportation challenges and fast track the distribution process.

Currently, each of the collection centres has farmers assembled from five local government areas.

The Chairman said officials of Bank of Agriculture, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation and RIFAN were involved in the distribution process.

He said that inputs suppliers and service providers were also involved in educating the farmers on right quality and quantity of inputs to be applied on their farms.

Salihu explained that the beneficiaries were to pay N2, 000 for refundable bank account opening, N500 for Identity cards and N500 for RIFAN membership.

He explained that the repayment of loan was scheduled in three instalments of 30 percent with paddy rice, 30 percent during wet season and last 30 percent at the end of all the processes.

The chairman said certified seeds input suppliers would bear responsibility on any lapse recorded due to poor quality seeds.

In a separate interview, the Manager, Sokoto branch of BOA, Alhaji Aliyu Hadeja, urged farmers to utilize the inputs properly and cautioned them against selling them for personal gains.

Hadeja expressed satisfaction with the ongoing distribution processes, stressing that all challenges would be addressed as they arise.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation over the support and pledged to utilize the inputs to increase their yields.

The farmers commended the federal government for the support, saying it would enhance their livelihood and boost food production.

NAN report that distribution would also be conducted in Sokoto, Goronyo and Tambuwal Local Government Areas.

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