As dry season farming commences, rice millers under the auspices of Rice Millers Association of Nigerian, RIMAN, Thursday, demanded simplified process of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s, Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, P-AADS.
In a chat with Vanguard, the National President, RIMAN, Peter Dama, said CBN should review its conditions that would encourage effective and more participation by RIMAN members in the programme.
Dama further stated that the Development Finance Department of CBN should ensure genuine rice farmers are identified and engaged rather than portfolio rice farmers.
In his assertion some bureaucratic requirements for accessing the facility or participating in the programme are not to be there instead should to be reduced and made simple.
He added that the backward integration programme that the CBN has come up should ensure millers and rice processors will participate directly in rice cultivation.
The broad objective of the P-AADS is to facilitate increased private sector agricultural production of staple foods and industrial raw materials, as well as support food security, job creation and economic diversification; Fast track land clearing for primary production of agricultural commodities; Promote food security through the provision of large contiguous land for agricultural production across all states; Collaborate with agro-processors engaged in backward integration by providing financing for extended land clearing in proximal locations for cultivating commodities for supply of industrial raw materials.
Support other capable stakeholders interested in unlocking land for agriculture through appropriate financing; and engender job creation for individual farmers that will cultivate on the cleared land.
Eligible Participants are Agro-processors of agricultural commodities engaged in backward integration; Prime anchors and commodity associations participating under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) with evidence of contiguous land readily available for clearing and cultivation of agricultural commodities; and other companies and individuals with evidence of ownership of contiguous land readily available for clearing and cultivation of agricultural commodities.
Agricultural commodities eligible for consideration under the Scheme are: Rice, Maize, Cassava, Cotton, Wheat, Tomato, Poultry, Fish, Sorghum, Oil Palm, Cocoa, Livestock/Dairy, and other commodities as may be listed by the CBN from time to time.
Prospective P-AADS participants must: be existing or new firms engaged in agricultural production with proven capacity and bankable proposal; possess acceptable title for contiguous lands of not less than 20 hectares; have good credit record be able to provide the required collateral for participation; and provide evidence of capacity to cultivate a focal commodity directly or engagement of farmers, including youths as in-growers or out-growers to cultivate on the land after clearing
On funding, the Private Sector-Led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (P-AADS) shall be funded from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
He said: “If properly handled Nigeria can produce rice twice during the dry season farming period and will get bumper harvest at the end of the day. Again the CBN that is handling this P-AADS through the Development Finance Department of CBN must ensure that the real rice farmers are identified and engaged rather than portfolio rice farmers.
“The inputs meant to be supplied to the identified or interested rice farmers should be supplied as and when due. The stringent conditionality for eligibility to participate in the dry season rice farming, for example having to produce collaterals that most rice farmers don’t have should be looked into.
“Also some of the bureaucratic requirements for accessing the facility or participating in the programme have to be reduced. The backward integration programme that the CBN has come up where millers and rice processors will participate in direct rice cultivation for their factories should be pursued vigorously with minimum bureaucratic requirements.
“Things should be simplified and CBN Development Finance Office should be ready to attend to inquiry at any given time as it relates to the issues of dry season rice farming.
“Our association has been in touch with the CBN over the dry season rice farming on behalf of our members. We have written on behalf of our members to CBN requesting that the conditions spelt out for participating in the dry season rice farming be looked into. So far CBN has given RIMAN members special consideration for our members’ participation in the programme.”
However, the RIMAN boss expressed interest in CBN’s large farm clearing programme as the association wants to key into it.
“However, our members are interested in the large farm clearing programme of CBN for agricultural development, and negotiations on this particular program is still ongoing”, he said.