The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday threatened to blacklist farmers that are involved in diverting or selling their farm inputs.
The Head, Development Finance Office, CBN, Awka branch, Mrs Bridget Okparaeze, gave the warning in Onitsha at the inauguration of inputs distribution by the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
She advised farmers engaging in such practices to desist forthwith or faced been banned from further participating in any of the CBN intervention programmes.
Okparaeze pledged the Federal Government continuous support to farmers with relevant farm inputs to ensure food security.
She explained that the programme was not a grant but a loan facility in form of farm inputs and cash component.
She said, “Farmers that divert their farm inputs or side sell their produces would be blacklisted out rightly, and banned from further participating in any CBN intervention programme.
“All our intervention previously at nine per cent interest rate are now given at five per cent for this year because of COVID-19.
“Therefore, all farmers participating in this programme are expected to repay the loan granted to them with their produce.”
She expressed satisfaction on the increasing number of farmers taking advantage of the opportunities in the agricultural value chain.
Okparaeze described the ABP as an avenue to increase the nation’s self-sufficiency in food production.
The State Chairman, Maize Association of Nigeria, Simeon Nwafor said over 535 of his members would receive inputs and other support worth over N89m for 2020 wet farming season in the state.
Among the inputs received by the farmers included improved maize seedlings, NPK and organic fertilisers, Urea, micronutrients, knapsack sprayer and insecticide.
Others are logistic support for land preparation, ploughing, farm mapping and extension services.
The Bank had last week said it would fund the value chains of nine commodities to the tune of N432bn in the 2020 wet season.
The nine commodities are part of the ten focal commodities currently being promoted by the apex bank.
The commodities are rice, cotton, oil palm, tomato, cassava, poultry, fish, maize, cocoa and livestock/dairy.
Source: The Whisler