Input suppliers appeal to Farmers to fulfil engagements in Anchor Borrower scheme 

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The spokesperson for the group, Alhaji Umar Isa made the appeal in an interview with the Newsmen in Sokoto, where he described the programme a successful one. and commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on the initiative.

Isa who is also a member of National Association of Input Suppliers and Merchants commended President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, saying the anchor borrower schemes had benefited Nigerians in many forms in terms of employment generation, economic growth, food security, improving internal security and healthy living of citizens.

He observed that population of people going to the south from northern states had drastically reduced due to economic value chains that the scheme had provided.

             

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“The scheme provides jobs for small-scale farmers that constituted high percentage because they cultivated vast farmlands and sell the harvested food items to immediate communities for onward consumption.

“They also provide raw materials to up takers for various purposes which are different from large-scale farmers that sometimes feed large scale companies.

“Importation of rice and other food items has reduced, which assisted the nation’s economic recovery and people’s health because many imported foods are counterfeits or expired.

“If you sum up the number of benefiting farmers and farmlands cultivated with various species of crops at different geographical locations, the achievement is quite interesting.

“After the programme was launched in Kebbi State, it covers all parts of Nigeria and encouraged individual and corporate participation to take a cue and provide anchor borrower loans to farmers besides government’s scheme,” he said.

Isa, however, observed that in spite of the achievements and benefits to Nigerians, some participating organs contributed to the hiccups or challenges experienced in some areas of implementation.

According to him, many stakeholders including commercial banks and programme managers are living far below expectation which endangers the smooth continuity of the scheme.

He said that programme managers usually refused to process relevant documents and data, while commercial banks either refused to pay input suppliers when due, while some withdrew from the scheme at the final stage.

“This action has caused loss to many inputs suppliers because most the funds’ use are revolving and many that have bank loans suffered various forms of hardships.

“We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Agriculture and other regulatory bodies to investigate each organ’s commitment to strengthen the policy,” Isa said.

He said that Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Cotton Farmers Association and many others had ensured mass commitment of their members to the programmes.

He said that crops were being cultivated on a seasonal basis, so there was no need for overlapping and unnecessary delay in payments and distribution in general.

Isa, however, appealed to participating organs to live up to the expectations and ensure they abide with stipulated rules and regulations for all areas and segments to operate smoothly.

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