Farmers in Benue state have faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) ongoing Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and urged the federal government, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and other stakeholders to engage Benue farmers on large scale in the Nigerian Incentive Based Risks Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)’s funding for the agriculture sector.
The farmers spoke over the weekend at Achia, Kwande LG of Benue State. The Leaders of the communities’ cooperative societies said that the Organisation for Youth & Women Aid In Africa (OFYWAIA) aggregates for the NIRSAL scheme, Mr.Iordye Amena and Hon. John Ubee wondered why they were not given any agricultural inputs for the last cropping season. “It would have increased productivity and galvanised the drive to make Nigeria food sufficient by 2030, in line with the 2030 zero-hunger agenda.
“We are optimistic that our aggregator and the NIRSAL office situated at the CBN in Makurdi will cross the ‘tees’ and dot the ‘is’, so we could benefit this year,” they pleaded.
The chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) for Kwande LGA Mr. Icheen could not be accessed for comments for he was said to have travelled.
In 2015, the Nigeria government introduced the ABP through which loans and farm inputs are given to small and medium scale farmers in order to boost agricultural output.
A beneficiary of a similar scheme Mrs Atoo said ABP has helped more farmers to go into agriculture as a business, and contribute to meeting up with the consumption need of the Nigerian populace.
“We plead this year, if inputs can get to farmers on time, we will be able to plan ahead of the planting season and also increase productivity all year round,” she said
The leader of OFYWAIA for Benue State, Bar. Dooyum Agav said: “The meeting was put together by OFYWAIA and the cooperative societies to preview their activities in the previous years.”