By Obinna Unaeze
Minna – The Niger Chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the Federal Government to incorporate commercial banks into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrower programme.
Its Chairman in the state, Alhaji Shehu Galadima made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Monday.
He said that the measure would eliminate bottlenecks associated with accessing the funds by farmers.
“The Federal Government should encourage commercial banks to participate in the anchor programme to help participating farmers to meet the requirements to access loan.
“This is because the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) saddled with the responsibility of operating an analogue banking system with inadequate manpower is not meeting the yearnings of farmers.’’
Galadima said that the BoA lacked the administrative requirement to manage the funds properly.
“As I speak to you now, BOA does not even operate the ATM machine that will enable farmers to cash money easily,’’ he said.
He said that farmers did not have easy access to loan facility in the state.
According to him, the programme is bedevilled with problem of farmers going through a lot of rigours to access loan.
“Initially, some commercial banks came on board to assist farmers but along the line, they pulled out due to challenges beyond them,’’the chairman said.
The AFAN chairman commended the Federal Government for the programme, adding that it would go a long way in boosting food production in the country.
“If we follow the anchor programme well, Nigeria will have enough food to eat and export as well as spur economic development,’’ he said.
He said that the programme was aimed at boosting cotton, maize and soybeans production in the state.
Galadima said that the scheme was targeted at 100, 000 farmers in the state and 44, 000 had been registered out which 15, 000 of them met the requirements.