Itapaji -Ekiti (Ekiti State) – The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has assured members of National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) Ekiti chapter of its financial assistance to enable them embark on massive production of cotton in the state.
A Representative of CBN, Mr Olutayo Sowumi, gave the assurance on Friday at the inauguration of the Recovery of Cotton Outputs for 2019/2020 planting season under the CBN and NACOTAN Anchor’s Borrower programme
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was held in Itapaji Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti.
”The Anchor Borrower’s Programme was inaugurated by the Federal Government to boost productivity and alleviate poverty among the farmers, it is on this note that the CBN determined to assist the NACOTAN members to make life better for them,” Sowumi said.
He said that the apex bank management was delighted with the conduct and hard work of the NACOTAN members for maximizing the scheme in the state.
He therefore urged other cotton farmers, who benefited from the facility, not to delay in the repayment as the loan was a revolving one which other farmers were expected to benefit in subsequent years.
“The beneficiaries should come willingly and pay so that others can also benefit. If they do not pay it means they are trying to terminate the programme.
“It should be a revolving fund, as you collect, you produce, you sell and then pay the loan so that others that have not benefited earlier can also benefit.
“I wish to say that NACOTAN members are the best association that CBN has ever worked with without any problem.
“They are disciplined, hardworking and I want to assure them that the CBN management will continue to support them financially to make their cotton production easy and successful,” he said.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Folorunso Olabode, said that his government was determined to support NACOTAN to nurture and sustain the production of cotton in the state.
Fayemi said that the state would welcome investors who are determined to improve the economy of the state and provide job opportunity for the youths.
The governor, who described Ekiti as an agrarian state, said that his administration was determined to make agriculture, not only lucrative, but also attractive.
He charged NACOTAN members to mobilise cotton farmers to go back to farm and also encourage more private investors into the cotton sector.
The State Chairman of the association, Mr Michael Olorunfemi, assured the Federal and state government that they were determined to work hard to produce cotton to boost the state and the nation economy in general.
He commended the Federal Government for including cotton farmers in the Anchor Borrowers Programme, noting that, it would go a long way in enhancing the living standard of farmers in addition to ending the importation of the commodity.
He said that the CBN intervention was to enhance food production in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy on food security.
He, therefore, appealed to the state government to provide adequate security for the farmers against the invasion of the herdsmen in their farms.