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Political farmers hijack Anchor Borrower Scheme in Bayelsa — RIFAN

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Bayelsa on Tuesday said farmers under it association have not benefited from the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrower…

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Bayelsa on Tuesday said farmers under it association have not benefited from the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) since it started.

The Chairman of Rice Farmers Association in Bayelsa State, Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, who revealed this in an interview with newsmen in Yenagoa said the real objectives of the programme had not been achieved in Bayelsa.

The Chairman accused “political farmers” of hijacking the scheme and called for corrective measure to carry the real farmers along.

He said: “Even the selection; it was being done in a hidden place, where we don’t know; up till now, RIFAN members have not been involved.

“I am calling on the federal government to also extend the programme to the rural dwellers because, that is where the real famers are residing,” he noted.

Mr Ebimowei Jerry, an agriculturalist said he was not happy the way some farmers in Bayelsa state and other states in Nigeria have been short-changed since the launching of the programmed by President Muhammadu buhari. 

Jerry suggested a database should be created across states of the federation in order to have a comprehensive list of those, who are farmers.

“I must tell you, the real farmers in Bayelsa are not benefiting from the CBN Anchor Borrower, the farmers are being short changed in this state,” he said.

An Officer in the Bayelsa Ministry of Agriculture, who preferred not to be named said he would not speak on the matter, noting that the Anchor Borrower was federal government programme.

The Anchor Borrowers Scheme was officially launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 2015 to create linkages between crop processing companies and smallholder farmers in key agricultural commodities.

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