AFAN urges FG to review conditions of agricultural loan scheme
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) on Friday called on the Federal Government to review conditions for the Agricultural Loan Scheme to enable farmers access the facility.
AFAN Vice President (Arable-1), Alhaji Idris Yau, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Hadejia.
Yau said that small holder farmers in rural areas were not accessing the facility due to the cumbersome conditions attached to it.
He noted that the terms set by the banks were stringent for peasant farmers in view of their low capital base, stressing that the banks had failed to take care of the needs of rural farmers.
“Small holder farmers in rural communities could not meet the conditions to access the facility.
“The facility favoured large scale farmers, who represent a small fraction of the farming population.
” It is desirable to review the facility to enable more farmers benefit from it,” he said.
The AFAN vice president also called on banks to ensure prompt and timely disbursement of loans to farmers to enhance effective utilisation of the funds.
He lamented that most of the facilities were given to farmers at a wrong time, resulting in gross misuse of the money.
“The loans should be given to farmers at the commencement of the cropping season, depending on the geographical zone the farmers belong to.
“In a situation where you disburse money to farmers at the end of the season; it is of no use and they might not repay the loan,” Yau said.
Yau, however, commended the Federal Government for its farmer support initiative, adding that the gesture would encourage agricultural activity.