The Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), Anambra chapter, has commenced distribution of inputs for the 2020 wet season framing.
The farm inputs distribution was launched under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) at Amansea near Awka on Monday.
Speaking at the event, the CBN Branch Controller, Awka, Mr Benedetti Maduagwu expressed delight at the commitment of maize farmers in the state in ensuring food security for the country.
Maduagwu explained that the CBN, in pursuit of its developmental functions, established the ABP, to lift thousands of small farmers out of poverty and generate millions of jobs for unemployed Nigerians.
He said that ABP was designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors to ensure increased agricultural output in the ten local commodities namely: rice, maize, cassava, poultry, cotton, cocoa, oil palm, tomato, fish and livestock daily.
He charged the farmers to leverage on the opportunity created by the programme and warned them against selling part of the farm produce as it was a serious infraction of the programme.
The Head of Development, Finance Department of CBN, Awka office, Mrs Bridget Okparaeze, said over 7,000 farmers had benefited from the programme after it was inaugurated in 2015 in the state.
She said that rice importation had been eliminated by the programme as Nigerians now eat locally produced rice.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba commended the leadership of the association for creating platform for maize growers to benefit from the programme.
Onukwuba represented by the Director Extension, Mrs Ifeyinwa Uzoka urged CBN to ensure that the remaining inputs get to the farmers in good time, saying that the processes of maize planting was time bound.
He urged members of MAGPAMAN to collaborate with those in the field of processing, to limit the use of dangerous substances in the preservation of maize and other farm produces.
Earlier, the State Chairman of the association, Dr Matthew Nwike explained that the official inauguration of farm inputs distribution for the 2020 wet season farming, marked the commencement of maize planting for members of the association in Anambra.
Nwike regretted that the inputs for 2020 wet season farming arrived late in the state due to bottlenecks in the procurement and distribution processes.
He disclosed that the body had only received maize seedlings from ABP and expressed optimism that fertiliser and other inputs would arrive the state before the end of June.
The chairman reminded the farmers that they were expected to pay back the loan after selling the produce realised during the harvest to off-takers.
Nwike, while noting that CBN was out to empower farmers in the country through the programme, expressed optimism that it would ensure sufficiency of maize for local consumption and export.
He disclosed that more farmers would be enlisted in the programme by next year.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)
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