Farmers Laud CBN for Reducing Rice Importation


Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has extolled the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for drastically reducing the importation of rice, wheat and fish, thereby boosting local production of rice and other agricultural commodities.

AFAN spoke Wednesday at their North-east zone meeting held in Gombe under the
chairmanship of the National Vice President, Arable Crops, Auwal Tukur.

They, however, called for timely release of loans and other agricultural inputs to farmers for more effective utilisation of the facilities as well as to facilitate timely repayment.
The body also called on the CBN to consider removing bank guarantee in order to frustrate the various state government officials’ control of the funds.

AFAN said the difficulty in accessing insurance cover due to bureaucratic bottlenecks and procedural requirements was worrisome, and therefore called on NAIC to enlighten farmers on the processes involved.
The north-east meeting also reinforced the appeal to the federal government to recapitalise the Bank of Agriculture in order to reflect CBN current efforts and also aid the funding of agricultural activities and diversification of the nations’ economy.

The meeting commended the introduction of Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), saying it would reduce youths’ restiveness, create jobs and reduce poverty.
Farmers however agreed on the need to sensitise members to always payback their loans to facilitate the sustainability of the programme and the loans are revolving in nature. The meeting also agreed on the need to have a comprehensive database for all its members for proper identification.

While urging the federal government to buy up excess grains from farmers at harvest season to increase their income, members called on AFAN to monitor inputs sold to farmers and report adulteration as AFAN must protect its members in all ramifications.