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CBN vows to blacklist farmers selling, diverting farm inputs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to blacklist farmers involved in diversion of farm inputs or selling their produces in Anambra state.

The Head, Development Finance Office, CBN, Awka branch, Mrs Bridget Okparaeze, gave the warning in Onitsha at the inauguration of inputs distribution by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

She advised farmers engaging in such practices to desist forthwith or be outrightly banned from further participating in any CBN intervention programmes.

She pledged Federal Government continuous support to farmers with relevant farm inputs to ensure food security, explaining that the programme was not a grant but a loan facility in form of farm inputs and cash component.

According to her: “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 9percent interest rate are now given at 5percent 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.”

Expressing satisfaction over increasing number of farmers taking advantage of the opportunities in the agricultural value chain, Okparaeze described ABP as an avenue to increase the nation’s self-sufficiency in food production.

State chairman, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Simeon Nwafor said over 535 of his members would receive inputs and other support worth over N89 million for 2020 wet farming season in the state.

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He praised President Mohammadu Buhari and National president of MAAN, Alhaji Abubakar Funtua for supporting farmers in the state, expressing joy over the 122 increase in the figure of beneficiaries.

“Our people were initially reluctant to give their Biometric Verification Number (BVN) which was a requirement for registration, but started indicating interest after a sensitisation programme by CBN and MAAN,” he said.

Responding, a retired teacher and maize farmer, Mrs Pat Okeke, commended the Federal Government, pledging their preparedness to boost maize farming culture in the state.

Among the inputs received by the farmers included improved maize seedlings, NPK and organic fertilisers, Urea, micronutrients, knapsack sprayer and insecticide, logistic support for land preparation, ploughing, farm mapping and extension services.

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