The Forum of Agricultural Commodity Associations Presidents (FACAP) have called on government to have a rethink over the propose stoppage of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
FACAP Chairman, Sadiq Umar Daware, at a media briefing noted the association organized the briefing bring to notify public that despite daunting challenges experienced during 2021/2022 farming season, CBN has halted funding of ABP and no other support was given to farmers.
Daware warned that the stoppage of the ABP portends great danger to the looming food crisis in Nigeria, while appealing to President Buhari to direct the Central Bank Governor to release funds to farmers’ associations to enable them to embark on dry season farming.
He noted that the sector needs government intervention to survive due to plethora of challenges militating against it such as insecurity, lack of consistent access to affordable finance, unavailability of quality inputs, skyrocketing prices of inputs, high post-harvest losses, fragmented and unstructured market and the dangers associated with negative climate change.
The chairman further advised that the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative should be expanded to include agro inputs so as to reduce the high prices of farm inputs like agro chemicals, seeds, among others.
National Coordinator Special Project Rice Farmers Associations (RIFAN), Shehu Muazu, on his own noted that if farmers can embark on dry season farming, they will be able to make up for the loses to flood which was why they are calling on the President to direct the CBN governor to release money to them.
Also speaking, the President of Maize Farmers Associations, Abubakar Bello, explained that high cost of food items was due to high cost of production, saying the prices of fertilizer, agro chemicals among other farm inputs have skyrocketed.