The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Kogi state chapter, on Saturday, May 9, 2015 said the N100, 000 loan grant to farmers by the state government was grossly inadequate. He also faulted difficulties in accessing the loans.
The secretary of the chapter, Mr Ademu Halidu, told reporters in Lokoja that the amount was much too small for any farmer to work with.
“It is most unfortunate that at this present time, farmers would be given a token sum of N100, 000 each as loan. The amount is too small for any farmer to work with.
“What about the stress and the rigour the farmers passed through before they were able to access the loan.
“Apart from the smaller amount, the process undertaken by farmers before getting the loan in terms of bank registration and documentation is too cumbersome for any rural farmer.
“Farmers are also demanded by the bank to open an account and pay a compulsory deposit of N10, 000 before accessing the fund.
“AFAN are saying that the amount is too small in this era of mechanised farming with new innovations of farm inputs, which determine the farm output products,” Halidu said.
The secretary said that the crisis in the state between the Association and Cooperatives Federation of Farmers was responsible for the association’s failure to press home its demands with the state government.
He promised that the crisis would be resolved within the next two weeks and that AFAN would re-unite to present their case before the state government.
Halidu also criticised the decision of the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Zacchaeus Atte, to disburse the loan directly to individual farmer without channeling it through AFAN.
The Kogi State Government, through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has commenced the disbursement of N750 million worth of loan to farmers in the state.
Each interested farmer is expected to pay N10, 000 compulsory registration fee before accessing the N100, 000 loan.