Former Head of Civil Service of Kebbi state, Buhari Jega said he made a fortune from rice farming under the Federal Government Anchor Borrowing Programme.
He stated this when the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed was conducted round his 20 km rice farm in Jega near Birnin Kebbi by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Dandiga. He ventured into rice farming after he left office.
The retired senior civil servant said he ventured into rice farming after leaving office and took advantage of the support by the federal and state governments through the Anchor Borrowing Programme.
Jega said he was a proud owner of three rice farms within his community measuring 30 hectares.
“During harvests in 2017, I got 400 bags of rice from the 13 hectares farm, 200 bags from the 10 hectares farm because I planted other produce on it and 150 bags of rice from the 10 hectares,” he said.
Jega advised workers to consider farming as their post retirement venture and start planning for it early while in active service.
Speaking on the challenges of rice farmers in Kebbi, Jega identified high cost of petrol to power generator set used for irrigation.
He said farmers in the area, largely, dig wells within their farms from which they pump underground water with generator set for irrigation.
Jega therefore appealed to the government to provide fuel dump near the farms area to sell petrol to the farmers at subsidised rate.
He the government should help to provide solar panel irrigation pumps for them.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is setting aside N40 of the N220 billion Naira Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund for farmers at single digit interest rate of maximum of nine per cent per annum.
It is designed to provide funds, seedlings, fertiliser, agro equipment and extension services to registered farmers.