The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commenced the disbursement of loans to maize farmers in Anambra under its Anchor Borrower Programme meant for the 2019 farming season.
Speaking at the event on Thursday, Mrs Bridget Okpalaeke, the Development Finance Officer of CBN, Awka branch explained that the inauguration was delayed due to heavy flooding in 2019.
Okpalaeke, who noted that the loan granted to the farmers was to aid them financially, explained that CBN issued out the loan on a nine per cent interest rate.
While expressing satisfaction that farmers in the state pay back the loan promptly, she reminded them of the importance of insuring their farms against disasters.
“The CBN is the Financier because there must be somebody who is ready to buy the products from the farmers; that is the Anchor model.
“I want to be proud and celebrate at the end of the day seeing you build mansions like your colleagues in the North; this is your time now,” she said.
However, Okpalaeke warned the farmers against selling some of their farm products as against the Anchor model of supplying to agro-processors.
“To cut some of your products and selling them is not allowed. Anyone caught will be disqualified from further participation,” she warned.
In his remarks, the National President of Maize Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Funtua commended Okpalaeke for assisting maize farmers in the state, especially as it concerned finance.
Funtua was represented by the National Financial Secretary of the Farmers Association, Chief Nnanna Iwuchukwu at the event.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Association, Chief Simon Nwafor commended stakeholders in the sector for their relentless efforts in ensuring effective and efficient performances of maize farmers.
“I solicit for more support, encouragement, and solidarity from government, banks, especially outright removal of the bureaucratic bottleneck in accessing government grants and incentives for farmers,” Nwafor said.
The Programme was launched in 2015 to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.