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Umahi pledges support for rice farmers in Ebonyi




Gov donates N1 bn revolving loan to farmers

As part of efforts to make Ebonyi State the number one rice-producing area in Nigeria, the state governor David Umahi, has ordered the disbursement of N1 billion to rice farmers while unveiling several measures that would fast-track the plan.

Umahi, made the disclosure at a special stakeholder’s forum on rice production in Abakaliki, the state capital on Wednesday.

He also ordered council chairmen, development centre coordinators, management committee members and Liaison officers of the councils, to acquire some hectares of land for rice production.

The governor however, clarified that the money would not be given to them in cash, but as seedlings, fertilizers, and pesticides among other facilities.

He said, “It is not going to be free; it is going to be loan and when you produce, we will take over the rice and pay you the difference. It is a loan. We borrowed it from the Federal Government, which they will deduct from our allocation every month.”

According to him, the state should be able to recover the loan and “give it again, so it is going to be a revolving loan.”

Under the latest arrangement, council chairmen are to acquire 20 hectares of land each, coordinators 10 hectares, while management committee, as well as Liaison officers, would acquire five hectares each.

To ensure an all-encompassing commitment, Umahi tasked political office holders that their survival on their jobs would be predicated on their performance in the task.

Board members and heads of parastatals, according to the governor, should also own one farm for agricultural production, adding that the state Executive Council would manage the Ezillo Farms.

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