All Farmers Association (AFAN), Kaduna State has cautioned farmers on the CBN Anchor-Borrower Programe, saying it is a loan scheme meant to empower Nigerian farmers.
Alhaji Nuhu Aminu, the Chairman of AFAN, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Zaria, Kaduna State.
“Something is happening across Nigeria, Kaduna State inclusive, many people are thinking that the CBN Anchor-Borrower loan scheme is a free empowerment package.
“I want to use this medium to call on Nigerian farmers, especially those who benefited from the scheme to understand that the Anchor-Borrower Scheme is not a free package but a loan scheme.
“Therefore, all those who benefited must be ready to pay back the loan because their BVN and phone numbers have been captured and there will be no hiding place for them.
“The bank will definitely trace them and retrieve its money,” he said.
Aminu recalled that the initial plan was to give the benefiting farmers complete loan packages in cash but it was discovered that many would have converted the money to buy motorcycles, cars or marry wives instead of using it for the farming business.
He said that the decision to supply the farming inputs as a package to farmers was meant to encourage active and practical participation to pave way for smooth farming activities across the nation.
“Therefore, I want to appeal to our farmers, especially the youths not to see the Anchor-Borrower as “awoof’’, it is never a free package but they must be ready to payback,” he warned.
Aminu said that defaulting in repaying the loan would deprive others of getting access to the loan scheme, assuring that the sustainability of the program largely depended on the ability of beneficiaries to payback.
On the formation of farmers’ cooperative societies, the chairman appealed to farmers who were yet to join any of such groups to do so to enable them to benefit from different government policies and programs.
According to him, government or corporate organizations will not be comfortable to deal with people individually, rather it is easier for such a body to deal with cooperative groups than individuals.