No fewer than 40,000 peasant farmers in Borno will benefit from a N16 million World Bank relief fund to boost agricultural production in the state, Alhaji Muhammad Tijjani, the State Coordinator of FADAMA III programme, said on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
According to him, the fund is under the Fadama Community Association, and will be disbursed through the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation.
He said that the gesture was designed to empower farmers effected by the insurgency, to stimulate agricultural growth and enhance food security.
Tijjani said the farmers, drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state, had been advised to form Fadama User Groups to access the fund.
“We are collaborating with religious leaders, ward heads and chairmen of various local government areas of the state for smooth facilitation and take off of the programme.
“That is why we employed five facilitators in each of the 27 local government areas to mobilise the farmers into various cooperative groups,” he said.
Tijjani said also that the agency would assist the farmers with seedlings, chemicals and fertilizer to boost production.
He said some of them would be given water pumps, delivery hoses, spraying machines, insecticides and herbicides among others
“About 50 farmers have so far benefited with N1.5 million through the fund in Maiduguri, the state capital.
“The farmers groups that benefited are that of Shehuri North, Mashar Mari and Dusumari Kibiri, among others.
“The programme was to take off in Damsak, Damboa and Hawul but because of the present security challenges we decided to flag it off in Jere Local Government,” he said.