No fewer than nine million yam seedlings are to be distributed to farmers across the country under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the Technical Committee on Nigeria Yam Export said.
Prof. Simon Irtwange, the chairman of the committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that the distribution would commence in the first quarter of 2019.
Irtwange, also the President of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers’ Association of Nigeria, said the planned move would support yam production, processing, export and aggregation (storage).
He explained that the seedlings would be disease-free seeds from aeroponics technology being commercialised with the support of International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
According to him, “CBN has accepted to put yam on the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, so we are right now doing documentation across states.”
Irtwange noted that four seed companies had been authorised by the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to produce the yam seedlings.
“We are inviting farmers and we are trying to get anchor for the programme especially processors, aggregators and exporters.
“There is a format that the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending will give us.
“The NIRSAL template will tell us how to collect the information, farm size, Bank Verification Number (BVN), account number and after that, we will get anchor and hold stakeholders’ meeting.