From: AgroNature Admin
MAIZE farmers, under the aegis of Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Anambra Chapter, has commended the Federal Government for disbursing inputs worth N20 million for the 2019 farming season to farmers in the state.
Chief Simon Nwafor, MAAN’s state Chairman gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Onitsha.
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had recently disbursed inputs and loans, with nine percent interest rate under its Anchor Borrowers Programme, to maize farmers in the state.
The inputs included 122 bags of 20kg maize; 504 bags of 50kg NPK fertilizer; 152 bags of 50kg Urea and agro-chemicals, among others.
Nwafor said that the initiative by the president would ensure sufficiency of maize for local consumption and export.
He said that the inputs were for the 2019 farming season, which were delayed due to flooding as well as late arrivals, occasioned by bottlenecks in the distribution process.
Nwafor expressed the hope of bountiful harvest for the farmers, noting that members had moved to the Omasi-Uno farm cluster in Ayamelum Local Government area of the state to commence maize farming.
He disclosed that a total of 122 registered farmers were approved for the 2019 season on 122 hectares of land.
The chairman, however, expressed concern that 431 out the 525 names of maize farmers sent to Abuja had so far been approved for the 2020 planting season in the state, which, he said, would also commence soon.
He said that 91 names were returned because they either had issues with their biometric verification number (BVN) or were involved in other programmes.
“Most of our core rural farmers don’t have account, let alone having BVN, and this has always prevented them from participating in the programme.
“The federal government, through the CBN, should soft pedal on the issue of BVN so that majority of our farmers in the rural areas will be incorporated into the programme,” the chairman appealed.
He said that the association had over 2,000 members, stressing that majority of them were in the rural areas and had no BVN.
Other challenges facing the association, he said, included poor access roads and herdsmen’s incursion into farm lands.
“The issue of herdsmen’s attacks is really a menace. Government can handle the issue by keeping them and their cattle in a mapped-out place so that our farms will remain.
“The farmers also want adequate security in their farms,” he said