New Telegraph

Fertiliser: AFAN to approach CBN over loan

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has disclosed its intention to reach out to the Central Bank of Nigeria for loan to enable members buy fertilizer directly from the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) at subsidized rate. The President of AFAN, Kabir Ibrahim, disclosed this in a circular to members of the association, where he also mentioned the association’s significant stride on a number of fronts, including reducing post-harvest losses, securing insurance and input supply, especially fertiliser and other agrochemicals.

He explained that AFAN executives had reached out to the Chairman of PFI to assist members with NPK 20:10:10 for farming in order to boost food production and sufficiency in the country post-COVID-19. According to him, the association is also taking some steps, including continually agitating for guaranteed minimum price (GMP) for agric produce, the reestablishment of National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), the evolution of National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF) as well as equity in Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for financing for Nigerian farmers to increase food production. Also, Ibrahim noted that AFAN was carefully appraising the authenticity of several windows of zero interest loans and others for smallholder farmers to key in to boost agric funding to enable them produce en-mass. He said: “I bring good tidings to you on a number of fronts firstly, post-harvest loss, insurance and input supply especially, fertiliser and other agrochemicals.

“I also have pleasure to inform you that beginning from early Tuesday to Saturday August 15, 2020, we were able to expand our advocacy to many areas including NASC, NTA, NAIC, NSPRI, Northern Governors Forum, The Senate President, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (Executive Director Banking, Dr. Darlington) and the FRCN. Earlier on we reached out to the Chairman PFI who has been assisting some of our chapters with NPK 20:10:10. “You will recall that we posted on the NEC platform that we had given your contacts to the PFI. To reinforce the partnership with the PFI sustainably, we intend to reach out to the CBN for a loan to enable AFAN to buy fertilisers for onward supply to the farmers through the State chapters at the subsidized prices as approved by the government.

“We are continually agitating for guaranteed minimum price for our produce, the reestablishment of National food reserve Agency, the evolution of National Agricultural Development Fund as well as equity in BOA for sustainable agricultural financing. “The several windows of zero interest loans and others are being carefully appraised for authenticity so we urge you to tarry-a- awhile before informing the SHFs. The spread of halftruths and outright lies about programs is being addressed and the correct position will be laid bare for everyone to see.

The socalled mechanisation to be funded by $1.2 billion loan from Brazil is yet to get the nod of the NASS. “A programme to facilitate free farmers’ data capture, free one day farmers celebration in solidarity with the president, by AFAN, who has shown unwavering commitment to agriculture, will be explored. A general assembly of farmers comprising five members from each of the chapters is being proposed here. “There is every need to procure ID cards for at least these five people from each chapter before the time for all these activities comes. There is a glimmer of light already in our affairs and full light will emerge at the end of the tunnel.”

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