By Mumini Abdulkareem
The Kwara Chapter of Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria on Friday said its members were yet to benefit from the N1billion Federal Government Agriculture loan scheme in the state.
The Association Secretary, Sunday Moses, stated this while speaking with newsmen in llorin.
He said his members had acquired lands in large quantity to cultivate cassava and opened bank accounts in response to the request from the state government.
According to him, the state government has disbursed N1 billion to 500 other small scale farmers and 40 commercial farmers in the state.
The secretary alleged that the agriculture loan was received by the state government from the Federal Government on behalf of 2000 farmers which included 500 cassava growers.
He expressed regret that none of his members benefited from the loan scheme.
Moses said that about 500 members of the association had opened accounts with the Union Bank in line with the state government’s directive.
He said that the group had been in the process of securing the loan for about 18 months now, but nothing had been forthcoming.
“Five hundred members of our association have done the necessary things and submitted necessary documents, but it is surprising when the Commissioner for Agriculture said there was no provision for them,” he said.
He appealed to the state government to consider the interest of his members as they are part of the 2000 farmers that the loan scheme was meant for.
In his reaction, the Special Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Agriculture, Hon Anu Ibiwoye, said the state was yet to receive the N1 billion loan meant for cassava farmers in the state.
He stated that opening of Union Bank account was one of the conditions for the loan, adding that cassava growers in the state were yet to meet other conditions.
Ibiwoye gave an assurance that the state government would release the fund as soon as the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN disbursed it to Kwara.