NIGERIA. Gombe State: The Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has begun assisting vulnerable women in dry season farming in Gombe State.
The event is part of the FG 2021/2022 distribution of farming inputs to the country’s most vulnerable farmers.
The initiative was launched in the Dadin-Kowa community of Yamaltu/Deba Local Government Area of Gombe state by Abdullahi Baba-Isa, the Head of CBN Development and Finance Office. The program is part of the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Program, which aims to support women in the state.
Baba-Isa further stated that women have for a long time shown signs of commitment and success where more than 100 hectares of farmland has been cultivated for dry season farms by women in the state. “The support is to further encourage women to do more to contribute to food security while empowering them to improve on their wellbeing,” Baba-Isa added.
However, CBN and RIFAN intervention in women farming and dry season farming in Gombe state and Nigeria as a whole will assist in lifting many vulnerable women out of poverty by providing them with a source of income.
Speaking at the event, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, Special Project Coordinator, CBN/RIFAN Partnership, Gombe State Chapter, stated that the event is set aside to officially unveil inputs distribution to more than 25,000 dry season rice farmers across the state.
The aim of the intervention
The intervention’s goal, according to Bello, is to provide additional job opportunities, employment for youths, food security, and lift many vulnerable farmers out of poverty.
“The cordial reason of the intervention was to assist and take youths and farmers off of the street to better their lives through farming and will also add to the economic diversification agender of the federal government,” Bello added.
Bello assured and commended the FG, CBN, and RIFAN for their assistance, adding that Gombe would build on the 140,144 metric tonnes it contributed to the rice pyramid showcased in Abuja.
The Project Manager, Irrigation, Upper Benue River Basin, Dadin-Kowa, Ahmed Bikaji, said that many people due to the FG’s intervention and interest in dry season farming have declared interest to invest in farming.
Bikaji noted that rain-fed agriculture alone is not going to be enough to improve the food security efforts considering the growing population of the country, hence, the need to harness the irrigation potential to boost food availability is needed.
While commenting on FG, RIFAN, and CBN intervention, the leader of women rice farmers in the state, Bathsheba Kalla applauded their effort as this will boost many farmers’ farming capacity and boost their harvest and as well elevate agricultural business in the state.
With the FG intervention, over 8,000 women farmers were into rice cultivation in the state and over 1,000 would be assisted through the intervention, Kalla said. Kalla further stated that lack of funds had made women jettison farming, but that over 80 percent of women were now participating.