By TODAY

Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kogi chapter on Thursday attributed the low recovery of Anchor Borrowers Scheme credit facilities to the nefarious activities of those it described as “political farmers’’.

Mrs Rabi Emaiku, chairperson of RIFAN in the state said this while addressing newsmen in Lokoja.

Emaiku said the activities of these “political farmers’’ who were in the habit of reselling the inputs, were undermining the objective of the scheme at boosting rice production in the country.

She said the culprits who got enlisted and registered as farmers, but without farmlands had also made recovery of the loans given under the scheme as farm inputs very difficult.

“They sell the inputs lower than the cost at which they were given. They resell each pumping machine given to them at the cost of N39,000 for as low as between N10,000 and N12,000.

“Fertilizer given to them at N6,950 per bag they resell for between N2,500 and N3,500. It is annoying, because they will have to pay back the loans or others will not benefit.

“That is why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Unity Bank, RIFAN and other stakeholders have resolved that a farmer will have to pay 20 per cent of the total value of the inputs approved for him to access the facilities,” she said.

She said N114.3 million was recovered in 2019 as repayment for the loans and remitted to CBN from farmers who were not affected by the flood that devastated the riverine areas and swept off farm crops in the previous year.

Meanwhile Chairman, Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kaduna State chapter, Alhaji Muhammad Umar-Numbu, has lamented that only 10 per cent of members who benefited from CBN’s Ancho-Borrower loan scheme pay back their facility.

The Chairman, who made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Zaria, Kaduna State, yesterday, said that the attitude was sending bad signals to the success of the entire scheme.

“It is sad to note that in Kaduna State, only 10 per cent of beneficiaries paid back the loan; this is a great threat to the entire programme because it had gone to the extent that government intended to suspend the progamme but we had to plead for its continuation.

“This is because we have encountered flood disasters in some parts of the country, while here in Kaduna and some other states we have problems of security, some farmers could not go to their farmlands.”

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