The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk, on Monday commended the Federal Government’s initiative on agriculture and job creation.
The monarch gave the commendation when officials of the state chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) paid him a courtesy visit in Daura.
He described the mass production of rice under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme as one of the best policies of the government toward the promotion of food security and economic sustainability.
The traditional ruler called on the officials to expand the scope of their activities to cover the rural areas, especially the remote towns and villages.
Farouk also noted that the locally-produced rice was more delicious, hygienic and affordable, adding “we would encourage our districts as well as village and ward heads to key into the programme by involving their subjects.’’
Earlier, Alhaji Shuaibu Wakili, the State Chairman of RIFAN, said that the scheme had transformed thousands of farmers into millionaires while boosting food security and employment.
He said that the officials were at the palace to formally introduce the activities of the association in the emirate as well as present to the emir the sample of the rice being locally-produced under the programme.
Wakili said that several indigenous rice processing mills had been established to promote production and processing of local rice.
“The programme is capable of earning the nation billions of dollars as revenue as it has also promoted export and discouraged import of the commodity.
“We would, by next week, commence the distribution of the farming inputs to the registered farmers for the current wet season farming,” he said.
The association ’s chairman, however, warned rice farmers in the area against diversion of agricultural inputs supplied to them as the loan which would be repaid in 40 bags of paddy rice per hectare.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association had registered 75,000 rice farmers in Katsina State for the wet season rice production programme.