Cotton farmers in Etiki have received the backing of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in providing financial assistance to aid the mass production of cotton in the state.
Making the pledge to members of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) Ekiti chapter, the CBN assured that it will bankroll the production of the commodity through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
CBN’s Representative, Mr. Olutayo Sowumi made the declaration at the inauguration of the Recovery of Cotton Outputs for 2019/2020 planting season under the ABP.
In Sowunmi’s words, “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme was inaugurated by the Federal Government to boost productivity and alleviate poverty among the farmers, it is on this note that the CBN determined to assist the NACOTAN members to make life better for them”
He urged the cotton framers who benefitted from the scheme not to delay in the repayment as other farmers were expected to benefit in subsequent years. “The beneficiaries should come willingly and pay so that others can also benefit. If they do not pay it means they are trying to terminate the programme.”
“It should be a revolving fund, as you collect, you produce, you sell and then pay the loan so that others that have not benefited earlier can also benefit.” He said.
He further stated that the apex bank was delighted with the conduct of the NACOTAN members for maximizing the scheme in the state.
On his part, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who was represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Folorunso Olabode reiterated the will of his administration in enhancing the production of cotton in the state, adding that it will support the association and its objectives.
Dubbing Ekiti an agrarian state, he said that his administration was determined to make agriculture lucrative and attractive. He also added that the state was open to investors who are willing to boost the economy and provide jobs for youths in the state.
State Chairman of the NACOTAN, Mr. Michael Olorunfemi assured that the association would not rest on its laurels in boosting the nation’s economy through cotton production.
Lauding the ABP scheme, he said it would augment the standard of living of farmers and curb importation of cotton. He further appealed to the state government to protect the farmers against the invasion of the herdsmen in their farms.