The National Association of Cotton Farmers, Jigawa chapter, says its 1,100 members in the Northeast Zone, have received farm inputs loan from the Federal Government under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
The Northeast Zonal Co-ordinator of the association, Alhaji Bala Muhammad, made the disclosure to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Hadejia on Wednesday.
He said each farmer had received 11 set of farm inputs which included seeds, sprayer, assorted fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.
“What the scheme budgeted for each cotton farmer from planting to harvesting the cash crop is over N175, 000 loan in inputs.
“Each one of us has so far received 11 farm inputs which include seeds, sprayer, and variety of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.
“However, the suppliers are yet to give us certain amount of cash for payment of labourers, and a special sack which the cotton will be loaded in after harvest.
“In spite of that, we managed to source for funds from our personal savings and pay labourers to avoid time wastage,’’ Muhammad said.
The co-ordinator identified the lack of confidence in the scheme among cotton farmers as the major cause of the low enrolment in it.
“The 1,100 farmers registered for the programme are just a few out of the over 50,000 cotton farmers that exist in the zone.
“Many of our members initially declined interest in the scheme because in the past, they were involved in similar programmes but when they harvested their crops, nobody was ready to buy.
“But when they saw the farm inputs given to us and the apparent seriousness on the side of government; they became interested unfortunately the registration was over,’’ he said.
Muhammad, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to consider expanding the scheme to accommodate other farmers who were now ready to key into it.
NAN reports that the Northeast Zone comprised Hadejia, Birniwa, Kafin-Hausa, Kirikasamma, Guri, Mallammadori, Kaugama and Auyo local government areas. (NAN)