Alhaji Nuhu Aminu, Chairman, All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kaduna State chapter on Wednesday says the association will partner with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria to disburse ten tractors worth N120 million as loan to some groups of peasant farmers.
Nuhu, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria, said the collaboration was between the association and ABU Microfinance Bank and has reached advanced stage.
According to him, the move is meant to assist peasant farmers through whom other farmers will benefit from the tractor services to boost food production.
“We don’t want the loan to be given to big time farmers because such category of farmers are big enough to stand on their feet.
“Each of the tractors will cost N12 million and the beneficiaries are expected to pay back the money in three years,” he said.
The Chairman said lauded the new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo-Nanono whom he said had demonstrated zeal to ensure positive change in agricultural sector.
He assured that farmers in Kaduna State were fully ready to support all policies and programmes of government geared toward enhanced productivity.
“Our members are ready to support government in all ramification but our major constraint is getting farm inputs as at and when due.
“Let fertilisers, chemicals, improved seeds and all other inputs be supplied very early before the commencement of rainy season, this will give the farmers courage to put in their best.
“We also want government to re-introduce the abandoned Gross Enhancement Scheme (GES) as against the present Ancho-Borrower Scheme since it has been politicisd; majority of ancho-borrower beneficiaries are not real farmers,” he said.
Aminu lamented that shortage of capital in the hands of many farmers prevented them from undertaking farming activities this cropping season, even as most peasant farmers could not access the Ancho-Borrower loan facilities due to ignorance.
“This is one of the reasons why we want re-introduction of GES to give peasant farmers a sense of belonging. This is because the use of mobile phone is now a common thing among Nigerians.
“No matter how remote a village is, people are using mobile phones, so getting across to them through mobile phone is much more easier than Ancho-Borrower.
“Another problem with Ancho-Borrower is the fact that many of the beneficiaries are not farmers, majority of them instantly sell the items given to them at a very cheap price.
“It is very sad for somebody to be given a complete package worth about N195,000 only for him to auction such items at just N40,000,” he said. (NAN)