The Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN), has pledged to ensure the participation of 500,000 of its members in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme this year.
The National President of MAAN, Alhaji Bello Abubakar, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
“ Last year just 38,000 of our members participated in the pilot scheme with 55,000 hectares cultivated under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
“ This year our target is 500,000 farmers nationwide with an estimated one million hectares for this year.
“That is why we are targeting 25 million tonnes because last year, only 19 states participated.
“We want to involve all the 36 states of the federation, because in areas or states where they are not producing maize, we want to encourage them to start producing.
“In areas where they are producing maize in a small quantity, we want to improve their production through this programme, so that they will double their production in this year’s season.’’
Abubakar said that for any farmer to be eligible to participate in the programme, he or she must provide his name and bank account number.
Other requirements are Bank Verification Number (BVN), farm location, number of hectares of land before his farm can be mapped.
“So, this loan will be given in kind not in cash.
“There is no cash component in this programme.
“It is only the services that will be rendered to the farmers and then the required inputs right from the beginning to the end of the harvest.
“Because even the empty bags that you will pack your produce will be provided.
“So, all the services, and the inputs supplied to you will be calculated, and they will pay the service provider and input supplier on behalf of the farmer.
“So, at the end the farmer will now pay what he was given from the grains that he produced from his farm.
“That is why this is a very good system in assisting and promoting farmers production in Nigeria, not only in maize.
He however, appealed to governments at all levels to double their efforts in assisting maize farmers this year, especially in buying up their produce. (NAN)