By Meletus EZE
Farmers in Gombe State have commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 budget presentation on sustaining agricultural programmes.
The farmers said this on Wednesday in Gombe, while reacting to the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly.
They said that there were fears among farmers in Gombe that if the current agricultural programmes by the Federal Government were not sustained, many of them might not have enough loans and support to grow their crops.
Abbas Na-Bingi, a cotton farmer said he was very happy to hear that the Federal Government Anchor Borrower’s Programme would be sustained, adding that he was afraid that the government might not prioritise that in 2019.
“I was scared that the Federal Government may not continue with the loan scheme. Hearing the president in that regard was reassuring and heart-warming.
“I was unemployed before the Buhari’s administration but with the kind of agricultural policies of the Federal Government, I went into farming through loans and now I am better off,” he said.
Alhaji Umar Abubakar, a rice farmer in Dadin Kowa, Yamaltu-Delba Local Government Area of the state, that the 2019 budget was agriculture -friendly.
Abubakar noted that the plan by the Federal Government to diversify the economy through agriculture was now obvious, adding that farmers would make sure they supported the current administration.
“The budget presented shows that government is ready to diversify the economy through agriculture. It is now clear and we will support the president to realise that in 2019.
“The budget for 2019 as far as I am concerned is agriculture- friendly.
“In 2017, with the fertilisers from the Federal Government, I was able to increase my output. We also received improved seeds through our association and that has helped in reducing poor yield,” he said.
Usman Yakubu, a grain farmer from Akko Local Government said the efforts of government were commendable, adding that the promise to sustain such as revealed in the president’s speech would guarantee food security in the country.
Yakubu appealed to farmers under the Anchor Borrower’s loan scheme to ensure that they re-paid their loans to encourage government in sustaining the programme.
Buhari had in his speech said: “We shall continue to intensify our interventions through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to ensure that this momentum is sustained.’’