The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N53.3 million to local farmers in Auchi through the Elephant Group PLC/Edo State Government Cassava Project.
The Coordinator of the project, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammed, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi, saying 120 farmers had started receiving N444,800 each.
“This cassava project is being initiated under the Elephant Group PLC in conjunction with the Edo State Government.
“A total of 120 farmers have been screened and CBN has disbursed the sum of N444,800 each to 120 farmers totaling N53.3 million.
“As I am speaking to you, the farmers are receiving the alerts,” he said.
Muhammed further said the 120 farmers were grouped under the Ozemoya Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society, adding that the group was expected to cultivate 240 hectares of cassava.
The coordinator thanked the apex bank for granting them the funds and the Otaru of Auchi for the donation of land for the farmers to cultivate.
He appealed to the state government to commence the land preparation in order for the farmers to begin cultivation.
“We want to thank the Otaru of Auchi who graciously approving the land for the cultivation of cassava.
“We want to thank the CBN for giving us the opportunity to access the fund directly; individuals have gotten the sum of N444,800 each credited to their accounts in readiness for the project.
“We are appealing to the state government that as the CBN has already disbursed the money to the farmers, government should commence land preparation so that we farmers can start to grow the crop.
“The farmers are ready, CBN has already done its part and the state government is what we are waiting for.
“The supply of chemicals and fertilisers and training of farmers have been completed to make the farm project a success,” he said.
In his contribution, the Edo Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Monday Osaigbovo, said funds would soon be released in order to carry out land preparation for the cassava farmers to cultivate the land.
“This is a state government project and there is already a memo to that effect.
“We are awaiting the approval for the release of funds and as soon as funds are ready we will begin land preparation,” he said.