Governor Sani Bello of Niger made the call on Thursday in Minna when he received a delegation of traditional leaders, who paid him Sallah homage.
The delegation was led by Emir of Minna, Umaru Faruok.
He explained that the scheme is funded with N220 billion and disbursed through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development with single digit interest rate.
Bello said that farmers are expected to grow crops such as rice and wheat to advance their status from small holder farmers to commercial or large growers.
“We have for long depended on crude oil which has resulted to the challenges the country is facing today. We neglected the abundant resources we are blessed with.
“It is time to go back to the soil. As government, we have interacted with the people and received complaint of lack of access to fertiliser. Henceforth, we will provide fertiliser for farmers,” he said.
Bello said that 100, 000 farmers from the state are expected to access the CBN loan, adding that only 14, 000 have so far registered for the scheme.
Earlier, Farouk had called on residents to exploit the CBN initiative and embrace agriculture as means of livelihood.
“I call on you to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll into the scheme. Go through Local Government Chairmen, District Heads to key into the programme.
“Endeavour to form cooperative societies to be able to access the loans,” he said.
Farouk commended the state government for its proactive measure in ensuring that peace is enjoyed in the state.