Anchor Borrowers Programme is Not For Political Farmers – Deputy Chief of Staff

By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya

The facilitator of Poultry Farmers Association, Anchor Borrowers Value Chain Programme and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ebonyi State, Chief Okechukwu Nwakpu has disclosed that the sensitization event organized recently by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with NIRSAL officials was meant for the poultry, piggery and fishery farmers who could readily show proof of their farms.

He made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at Akanu Ibiam International Conference Center, Abakaliki shortly after the enlightenment, adding that it was geared at preparing the farmers towards accessing the Anchor Borrowers Value Chain Programme which was initiated by the State Governor, Engr. David Umahi.

“This programme was brought by our agricultural-friendly governor who had before now charged everyone to have second address in preparation towards zero-oil economy.

“This is exactly what prompted the meeting where CBN and NIRSAL officials came and addressed over 500 livestock farmers so that they could key into the programme,” he said.

Chief Nwakpu told us that the initiative was in line with the State government’s plan towards developing the agricultural sector especially as it concerns livestock production and also stated that the campaign would be taken to all the thirteen council areas where all the farmers would be visited in their various localities.

“We are not dealing with political farmers or those whose farms can only be found on the streets rather than the real farmers as directed by the governor.

“On this note, we are charging all the farmers to go and wait for us because we shall visit them from house to house, to show really that they are into the business,” he said.

According him, the other essence of the programme was to enable people have diverse means of livelihood rather than relying on civil service or street hawking adding that it is all inclusive whether the interested person belongs to an association or not provided there is willingness or facility for the business.

Special Assistant to the Governor on Industrial Cluster, Ebonyi Central Zone and Desk Officer in charge of Piggery Anchor Borrowers Program, Chief Edwin Okah said that the loan, when given would reduce the high rate of unemployment in the society while assuring that the empowerment would not be politicized for whatever reason.

“This Anchor Borrowers program does not have any political inclination, its target is to boost all livestock farming in the State and in view of this fact, everyone is free to apply in whichever area that the person has a comparative advantage,” he said.

He further advised the prospective beneficiaries that they should not use the money when accessed for second marriage or burial so that the purpose of the programme would not be defeated adding that the Project Management Team would visit all the farms for investigation and assessment.

Special Assistant to the Governor on Livestock Production, Hon. (Barrister) Bede Johnson Nwali said that the event was an avenue where CBN and NIRSAL had interfaced with the farmers on how to improve agricultural programme in Nigeria.

“Having seen that the modalities for the programme were strange to the people, CBN and NIRSAL officials deemed it necessary to enlighten the farmers on the step by step approach to enable them access the loan.

“Commercial banks do give loan on two digits interest rate but this particular one attracts only single digit interest, this is what prompted Governor Umahi to bring the programme in the State because nothing else elevates people as agricultural production” he said.

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