Members of the Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN, Niger State chapter in Chanchaga Local Government of the state have kicked against the conditions attached to the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Anchor Borrowers loan for the 2020 farming season.
It was gathered that the Maize farmers were requested to deposit the sum of N3,000 for logistics in the Unity Bank.
But, in a brief protest against the conditions during the distribution of materials/ inputs for the beneficiaries in Minna, 91 out of 143 beneficiaries outrightly rejected the offer, while expressing dissatisfaction with the conditions.
The conditions include; repayment with farm produce of 30 bags per hectare, a deposit of a sum of N20,000 in the account.
Aside from that, the farmers are to ensure the loan is repaid while each of the beneficiaries is expected to swear to an affidavit in court.
The total loan package is N166,000 per hectare that includes fertilizers, herbicides, seeds and others under EOP to be paid back with seeds after harvest that might be split into two cropping seasons.
Condemning the conditions, Hon Usman Kwotu, a member of the Association said if allowed to continue, it will destroy the good intentions of the President Muhammadu Buhari led government policy on Agriculture.
” We condemn the entire process, farmers can’t meet up with the demands of this current template as prices of the items are not in consonance with the reality.”
He also accused MAAN of hijacking the entire loan process to its benefits noting that if machineries are properly put in place, Niger State can feed the entire country.
However, the state Secretary of MAAN, Adamu Jibrin, who wondered why the protest by his members, argued that the beneficiaries had earlier accepted the conditions of the loan during their training
He insisted, ” The CBN loan is just a 9% interest loan Programme and should be appreciated. The prices of the materials given will be deducted from the total package and balance to be given to the beneficiaries and the N3,000 deposit is for the transportation of those goods, store and security of the materials to date. And, a hectare can produce between 60 – 80 bags therefore it’s of benefit to the farmers.”