Alhaji Muatari Sani, Chairman, Rice Farmers Association in Katsina Senatorial Zone, has urged the Federal Government to review the conditions for granting loans to rice farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme ( ABP ).
He made the call in an interview on Wednesday in Katsina.
Sani said: “The system of granting loans to rice farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme ( ABP ) is flawed, as the farmers are often short-changed by off-takers who supply farm inputs and equipment.
“The companies which supply water pumping machines, rice seedlings and other inputs usually provide the wrong materials to the farmers.
“This year, for instance, rice farmers were provided with sub-standard rice seedlings that grow very tall and produce less rice.”
Sani said that the panacea to the problem was for the Federal Government to deal directly with rice farmers, rather than through third parties.
“In Katsina State, there are different varieties of rice that grow well in different zones. The rice seedling in the Funtua Zone would not thrive well in the Katsina Zone,” he said.
Sani, however, urged the Federal Government to sustain the ABP in order to cater to the needs of rice farmers across the country.
He said that in spite of the challenges facing rice farmers, they were able to produce large quantities of rice this year.
It can be recalled that Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ) granted N2 billion ABP loans to rice farmers in the 34 local government areas of Katsina State in 2017 to boost rice production.
Source: The Nation