By Ahmed Suleiman
The Kwara State Government has claimed it is yet to receive the N1billion loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support farmers producing Rice, Maize, Soyabeans, and Cassava under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
A statement on Tuesday by Opeyemi Obaseesin, the Media Assistant of the Special Adviser on Agriculture and Rural Water Support Services, Hon Anu Ibiwoye, said, the state government requested to access the N1billion from CBN and got the approval of the House of Assembly early in 2017.
“The process of accessing the loan is still on-going and as at today, the Kwara State Government is yet to receive the N1billion loan for disbursement to any farmer under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
“There is also the need to clarify the statement by the Secretary of Cassava Growers Association, Mallam TajudeenOnilu, that the Kwara State Government is set to disburse N1billion to the cassava farmers in the state. We need to clarify that the N1billion ABP loan to be disbursed is not only for cassava farmers but also to farmers for Soyabeans, Rice, Maize and Cassava participating in the ABP.”
It added that the requirement for farmers to open account in Union Bank Plc is necessary but not a sufficient condition for any farmer to access the loan under the ABP.
“Farmers are expected to also have their cleared arable land ready in addition to the opening of accounts in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, as well as meeting all other conditions specified for every participant under the ABP.
“The office of the Special Adviser on Agriculture is aware that the land which the Cassava Growers Association claims to have in Reke, Asa local government has not been cleared and therefore cannot be the basis for the disbursement of any loan even though their accounts have been opened and domiciled in Union Bank of Nigeria. We encourage them to take urgent steps to have their land cleared and made ready for planting before the 2018 farming season,” is stated.
The statement advised all intending farmers seeking to obtain any kind of agric loans from the state government in 2018 to open an account in any of the designated partner banks for each programme and must also have their cleared arable land that is ready for immediate farming at the start of 2018 farming season.
It added that in addition to the aforesaid conditions, beneficiaries must provide two guarantors for the loan, be a registered farmer with the state government through the state Agro mall.