Not less than 10,000 farmers in Plateau State are slated to registers on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme initiative for crop production, in order to boost agricultural crops production in the state.
The Plateau State governor, Barr Simon Lalong, disclosed this on Monday at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, in an event organised by the Federal College of Animal Health and Production.
The governor said 10,000 farmers are being targeted for the ongoing registration by the CBN, ICT consultant, adding that, his administration is partnering to embrace the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme to address the credit needs of small-scale farmers in the state.
He was represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Linda Barau, who said, the process is a general one for farmers registration across the state, adding that, on the fertilizers distribution, the state had procured 23,387 metric tons of assorted fertilizers, which are being sold at a subsidized rate of N4,000:00 per bag.
He expressed satisfaction with the Commissioner of Agriculture, Linda Barau, on the state’s FMARD, stressing that the commissioner, led by a team constituted by the state to liaise with the headquarters in Abuja, will help to include plateau on the list of the beneficiary states.
Barr Lalong assured the citizens of the state that, the present government is to focus on promoting sustainable livelihood and maximize revenue generation through the “Green Alternative” policy, adding that, the aim of this policy is to re-engineer major source of Nigeria’s foreign exchange for onward development in plateau state.
He also called on the good people of the state to be patient as he had inherited so many challenges since assumption of office, adding that he has been reviewing the challenges to protect the future of the state.
According to him, the agricultural sector in the state is proof that it is characterized by subsistence farming and bad agronomic practices, leading to low productivity, which are poorly fertile soil, due to low fertilizer usage per hectare as well as low technology application and poor road network leading to inadequate access to high quality farm inputs.
Speaking also, Provost of Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Vom, Professor Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, said, the theme of the maiden conference tropical journal of agricultural research was, “Sustainable Research For Development Key To Economic Diversification.”
He reiterated that, the theme was deliberated upon in line with the state and federal governments’ combined desire to make agriculture a key driver of the economy of Nigeria, and commended the state’s Agricultural Research Development Institute as the best among all training institutions in Nigeria.
He called on the state government to explore the potentials of the NVRI Vom and FCAHPT colleges so as to exploit the numerous interventions of the federal government, while expressing his satisfaction with the state’s steering committee on the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and on the ranching policy, to mention a few.
Sharubutu also said the college has witnessed a number of developmental strides in furtherance of a drive towards enhancing productivity.
A key-note address was presented by Acting Executive Director of the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, David Shamaki, who lectured on the topic of the conference titled “Sustainable Research for Development a Key to Economic Diversification.” Shamaki explained that economic diversification is a process, which a growing range of economic output is produced.
He noted that standards of living sometimes fluctuate wildly in correlation with the price of oil. On the other hand, he said that, economic diversification is aimed at increasing economic resilience; it also reduces reliance on the vulnerable economic sector for certain categories of countries like Nigeria.
He emphasized that in its usage, most of the economies are generally characterized by lack of the proper knowledge of it, adding that the economies traditionally relied heavily on the production of primary commodities that are predominately vulnerable to climate variability and change – as in the case of Nigeria.