The federal government is committed to transforming the nation's economy through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower Scheme targeted at uplifting the standard of peasant onion farmers to large scale farmers, Alhaji Abdullahi Farouk has said.
Farouk, who is the Sokoto State CBN Agric officer, spoke during the planting of high yielding onion seedlings at Tunga village in Rabba local government area of Sokoto during the weekend.
According to him, the exercise is aimed at boosting the morals of onion farmers and further improve its production with high yielding seeds and other supports.
While describing agriculture as a major tool for fighting poverty and providing jobs for the teaming unemployed youth in Nigeria, Farouk said onion farming is a huge market that must be explored.
"We have decided to come here, Tunga here which is to be the main production centre of seed planting all over this area from Kebbi to Sokoto states and even part of Niger Republic".
"We are aware that farmers come here to buy seeds and that is why we have chosen this location to come and breed the seed so that we can share to our farmers to get them what to do and get them out of poverty", Farouk said.
Farouk also confirmed that Sokoto state is one of the largest onion producers in Nigeria, just as Nigeria is the largest producers of onion in sub Saharan Africa.
The CBN Officer added that the programme is aimed at bridging the gap between consumption and production of onions and even have surplus to exports.
"With this programme, we hope to bridge the gap between production of onions in Nigeria, which stands at about 1.4 million metric tons per annum.