By Mike Adeyemi
The National Groundnuts Producers and Marketing Association of Nigeria, Kwara state chapter has said the union proposed first Kwara Groundnuts pyramid would not be feasible, National Pilot reliably gathered.
Speaking on this backdrop, the state chairman, Hon. Paul Tsowa stated this while answering questions from our reporter in his office on Saturday.
According to him, “the leadership tussles at the national level of the association have affected us in Kwara as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), denied us the needed incentive.
“We were into the Anchor Borrower scheme this year which allows Kwara Groundnuts farmer to apply for loan. But the leadership crisis at the national level made us fail woefully.
“We had certain inputs like spraying can, seeds and chemical from the Central Bank of Nigeria, but the apex bank withheld the needed fund to boost planting this year,” Tsowa said.
He lamented that Groundnuts production capacity this year in Kwara will witness gross decline, saying farmers were staved of incentive to boost production as a result of row in the union.
“We should be expecting decline in Groundnuts production in Kwara this year. We have been hampered by the internal face – off which caused the CBN to reneged on it’s statutory mandate.
“The CBN at a point approved what we demanded before it. About 2000 Kwara Groundnuts farmers in Kwara applied for N350,000 loan each after which they had given us some inputs. If not to the lingering crisis, the loan would have been disbursed.
“Only very few of our members who were able to source for credits externally are the one who had extensive planting season, but they are very few. So, our earlier projection of Groundnuts pyramid in Kwara for this year will not be achievable,” the groundnuts boss affirmed.
Twosa further added that the union plea to the Kwara state government to put in place Groundnuts processing plant fell on deaf ear despite the comparative advantage the state has in Groundnuts production.
“We asked from the Kwara state government through a proposal for a processing plant where our produces would pass production processes, but that has not been done.
“Though the state government recently gave us fertilizers, and subsidy to farmers. Lack of access to credit facilities has always hampered our capacity to compete with other state like Niger.
“The issue of land has also posed threat to the expansion of Kwara Groundnuts farmers. In Songa for instance, most land has been taken over by the Zimbabwe farmers thus reduce the extent to which farmers can go in terms of expansion,” he noted.