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Gombe Commodity and Exchange Depot will on Tuesday in Gombe present a cheque of N1.5 billion as part of the farmers repayment loan to the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

GCED is a limited liability company and farmers off-taker in the North East.

Alhaji Sadiq Deware, the National President, North East Commodity Association disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

He said the N1.5 billion cheque repayment was part of the N8.9 billion loan granted to NECAS in 2018 on the platform of CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme for one year at a single digit of nine per cent interest rate.

The national president said that upon payment to NECAS, the loan guarantor to the farmers would subsequently be deposited to the Bank of Agriculture and later forwarded to the CBN.

Deware said that before the distribution of inputs, there was biometric capturing which identified farmers to specific farmland through mapping to eliminated the issue of ‘absentee’ or non-practising farmers from benefiting from the inputs and other facilities.

He said: “The beneficiaries are 21,515 farmers mainly affected by the insurgency in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe states and cultivated 49,000 hectares of land.

“The programme covers all the commodities that the North east states have comparative advantage in production, which include rice, maize, millet, sorghum and even small ruminants among others.”

Deware said that Borno was not included in the first phase because of the insecurity in the state.

He said: “Now that there is relative peace, the service providers are mapping the farm lands for the farmers to participate in the dry season farming.”

He said that to enhance productivity, NECAS had procured 220 motorcycles and distributed them to extension agents in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe and Borno was yet to receive.

Deware said that NECAS also distributed utility vehicles to the all the zonal supervisors for easy accessibility to over 20,000 farmers.

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