The National Cotton Association of Nigeria(NACOTAN), has lauded the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme(ABP), saying it was the best agricultural programme so far launched in the country.
NACOTAN President, Mr Anibe Achimugu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
Achimugu said the programme had became a game changer in the agriculture sector.
He said the implementation of the programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through partnership with commodity associations and other stakeholders was commendable as it has created value chain in the agriculture sector.
“When I’m talking about value chain, I’m not just talking about one sector, I mean all the sectors within the value chain,’’ he said.
The NACOTAN president, also Managing Director, Arewa Cotton, said that the programme had motivated farmers for better production by providing them with enough quantities of inputs as well as supporting them with training.
Achimugu said the ABP had also ensured that farmers were supported with insurance cover as well as extension services.
According to him, farmers will feel comfortable in cultivating crops because they know that there is a market at the end of the day.
“A farmer will not have to struggle to look for who will either buy his products or the pricing which is also considered in the ABP.
“ In short, it’s like minimum guarantee price for the farmer who only have to essentially decide what crop he needs to plant.
“Informed planting decision is important to the farmer, because with the market and pricing in place, farmers will keep on farming a particular crop as well as keep them coming back,” Achimugu said.
He said that with those variables already taken care of, sustainability would have been created in a particular crop in terms of productivity in that line.
He said from the cotton seeds production in 2019, Nigerian farmers have already produced beyond the capacities of textile mills in the country.
Achimugu said that the CBN has been able to achieve a milestone by linking personnel of the armed forces and the paramilitary into the programme.
He said the organisations now source their fabrics for uniforms directly from Nigerian cotton.
“For me, that’s a difficult milestone that has been achieved and I will tell you also that the ABP has been able to address import substitution,’’ he said.
Achimugu commended the Buhari led administration for initiating the programme and urged the government to sustain it and the value chain strategy already adopted.
“This direct intervention, not only in agriculture which is major, but in areas that we know, will impact on our economy, will impact on the lives of many Nigerians and government, should continue,’’ he said.(NAN)