The Gombe State chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says 35,000 farmers will receive farm inputs for the 2018 farming season.
The state RIFAN Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed, said this in an interview with journalist in Gombe.
He said that the association would ensure that its members were provided with all the facilities they needed to cultivate their farms.
He said that the scheme, which was coming up under the Anchor Borrowers Programme, was to engender bumper rice harvests in the state and the country at large.
“We are targeting 35,000 farmers; all the farm inputs will be provided, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is ready to fund the programme,” he said.
Mohammed said that in efforts to ensure the success of the programme, the association would engage the services of retired extension workers to assist the beneficiary farmers.
“This time around, we are going to engage the services of agricultural extension workers, who are professionals, in all the 11 local government areas of the state.
“These experts know the farmers and their needs, they will give technical advice to the farmers and this will, in turn, yield positive results.
“We are going to use the retired extension workers, not only to guide farming activities, but also to facilitate loan recovery from the beneficiaries on time,” he said.
The chairman said that if the beneficiaries repaid the loan on time, it would enable them to qualify for other programmes.
He said that the Anchor Borrowers Programme had drastically reduced the rate of rice importation into the country.