By; Bala B. Bitrus, Minna.
Niger State Government in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has taken practical steps to boost rice, soya beans and cotton production in the state with the distribution of 100 motorcycles to agric extension workers.
The vehicles were given to further drive the government’s resolve to encourage farmers for greater productivity through the activities of agric field workets.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said the motorcycles were given out as part of the deliberate effort to ensure maximum engagement of extension workers who are to drive home the vision for the realization of the state goovernment’s target on rice cultivation, soya beans and cotton as both cash and food crops.
Governor Bello stated on Monday that the motorcycles given to extension workers and Co-operatives staffas part of the CBN-Anchor Borrowers Programme.
The distribution of the motorcycles was the first phase of the 318 motorcycles to be distributed to extension workers in the state by the government.
Gov. Sani Bello stated that the procurement and distribution of the motorcycles to extension workers was a deliberate effort to ensure at accessibility to farmers in the field and to fast-track the realization of the goals for food security for local demand and for export.
The Governor stressed that government and all stakeholders in the sector must play their parts in order to stop the country from being caged into the clutches of monlitic economy with it’s negative consequences.
He enjoined the extension workers to use the motorcycles in their on and off field outreach to educate and mobilize the farmers to facilitate government’s aspirations in achieving food security and export.
Commissioner for Agriculture in Niger state, Kabiru Abass expressed optimism that the motorcycles given to the extension workers would boost their morale, help them in their outreach and coverage areas impart knowledge to farmers on new techniques and consequently increase productivity.
He expressed appreciation to Governor Bello for supporting the CBN-ABP initiatives by ensuring payment of counterpart funds for all agriculture-related programmes such as the FADAMA III, RAMP II, Value-Chain Development Programme and the CBN-ABP in the state.
The Coordinator of the State Programme Monitoring Team (PMT), Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Kontagora explained that the CBN-ABP is an initiative aimed at improving the commercial and productivity levels of the farmer through the market-driven approach.
He expressed satisfaction with the support and cooperation from the Niger state government who he noted has not defaulted in loan repayment or payment of counterpart funds for all shared values projects in the agric sector.
He attributed all the successes recorded in the agric sector to the commitment of the state government. He also praised the resilience and cooperation from the extension workers and Co-operatives officers.