Amidst concerns of farmers abandoning their farms following persistent attacks by Fulani herdsmen and bandits, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday asked recipients of its agriculture scheme, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), to offset their loans.
There has been the persistent attack on farms and farmers by bandits in the North and Fulani herdsmen attacks on crop farmers in North Central. Many farmers in states spread across the southern part of Nigeria are being forced to flee and abandon their farms.
CBN’s charge was issued by its Kaduna Controller, Mal. Ahmed Wali while flagging off the distribution of 27,000 tonnes of rice paddy to millers. “We at CBN are committed to assisting farmers, but whoever we support with our money has the responsibility of paying back to encourage us to keep giving out to beneficiaries”, Wali said.
Wali said the distribution of rice paddy to millers was in line with the CBN’s mandate to ensure price stability. President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, sees this leading to low rice prices. Currently, 50kg bags of rice sells for N29,000.
The direct allocation from RIFAN warehouses across 16 states of the federation followed the earlier sale of paddy aggregated as loan repayment under ABP to millers from the rice pyramids recently unveiled in Niger, Kebbi, Gombe and Ekiti states.