The sum of N9.3m has been disbursed to 93 smallholders farmers by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to boost animal and crop production in Bauchi State in line with the present administration’s efforts at food security and agricultural promotion.
The disclosure was made by Mr Mbata Michael, Director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, NDE Headquarters at the opening of a 5-day agricultural extension training for the beneficiaries in Bauchi.
Mbata Michael who was represented by Mr Farouk Farouk, Senior Rural Employment Promotion Officer, said that each of the beneficiaries received the sum of N100,000 loan to increase their productions.
He further said that the facility was part of programmes initiated by the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, to encourage crops and animal productions.
According to him, “The facility has a six months moratorium period before commencement of repayment and it will be repaid within 30 months”.
He also said that, “It is designed for farmers in different areas, those in commercial farming trying to sustain their businesses and those who are likely to start up agricultural businesses”.
“Many of them are doing one or two things in agriculture and the money is to augment their businesses,” he said.
The director then urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the facility in order to expand their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed, commended the gesture, adding that it would boost crops and livestock production in the state.
Meanwhile, the NDE’s State Coordinator, Mr Lawan Yaya, said that the Directorate has concluded arrangements to train 50 agricultural extension workers in the 20 local government areas of the state.
Lawan Yaya said that the exercise was to complement Federal Government’s efforts towards encouraging agricultural production through improved farmer support services.