Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Nasarawa State chapter, has urged members to repay the farm inputs loan they received under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme.
Alhaji Abbas Ramallan, the state chairman, made the call at the Wet Season Loan Recovery meeting with local government and zonal chairmen of RIFAN in Keffi on Sunday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015.
Its intended is to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small-holding farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.
Ramallan noted that the programme started in the state in 2018 and no fewer than 20,000 farmers had benefited so far.
Disturbed by the non-payment of the loans in the form of farm inputs, the chairman said the items given to farmers in the state were on loan, not free.
He said that the loans to be repaid were converted to bags of paddies which were based on the number of hectares of land cultivated.
“It is not charity. It is a revolving loan. We should do things that our children will benefit from in years to come. Any loan given must be paid. Individuals signed indemnity with RIFAN, as well as for others and accessed the loans so it must be paid to the last kobo. I will make sure they pay.
“The year 2020 is a year of hard work. And we must achieve our aim in the year.
“A situation where you indemnify someone that is not capable of repaying, you should know you are liable and you will face the wrath of the law,’’ he said.
While stating that the state was expected to provide 50,000 bags of paddy for the loan recovery, Ramallan said by January 30, the farmers should pay up at least 80 per cent of the loans.
National Deputy Secretary of RIFAN, Alhaji Iliyasu Awodi, said that there were bags of paddy to be collected and those already collected were fewer than envisaged.
“The last time we were at CBN, we learnt that there would be no anchor borrower if the association fails to pay 75 per cent of the loans collected,’’ he added.