Anchor borrowers: ‘Kwara yet to receive N1bn loan’

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Success Nwogu, Ilorin

The Kwara State Government has said it is yet to receive N1bn loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria meant to support the state’s farmers producing rice, maize, soya beans, and cassava under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

The Special Adviser to the Kwara State Governor on Agriculture and

Rural Water Support Services, Mr. Anu Ibiwoye, in a statement by his media assistant, Opeyemi Obaseesin, explained that the Kwara State

Government requested to access N1bn from the CBN under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

He stated that the state government received the approval of the

House of Assembly early in 2017 to apply for the loan.

He added that the process of accessing the loan was still ongoing, adding, “As of today, the Kwara State Government has not received the N1bn loan for disbursement to any farmer under the Anchor Borrowers Programme.”

He said that the N1bn ABP loan, when accessed, was not only for cassava farmers in the state only but also to farmers for soya beans, rice, maize and cassava participating in the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Ibiwoye explained that the requirement for farmers to open accounts at the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc was a necessity but not a sufficient condition for any farmer to access the loan under the ABP.

He added that farmers were expected to have their cleared arable land ready in addition to the opening of accounts at the Union Bank of Nigeria, as well as meeting other conditions specified for every participant under the programme.

He said, “We are aware that the land, which the Cassava Growers

Association claims to have at Reke in the Asa Local Government Area has not been cleared and therefore cannot be the basis for the disbursement of any loan even though their accounts have been opened and domiciled at the Union Bank of Nigeria. We encourage them to take urgent steps to have their land cleared and made ready for planting before the 2018 farming season.

“We want to also advise that all intending farmers seeking to obtain any kind of agricultural loans from the Kwara State Government in 2018 must open an account in any of our designated agriculture partner banks for each programme and must have their cleared arable land that is ready for immediate farming at the start of 2018 farming season.

“Conditions for the Anchor Borrowers Programme include: Account opening at the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; availability of cleared arable land to each intending participating farmer; must provide two guarantors for the loan; and must be a registered farmer with the Kwara State Government through the state agro-mall.”

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