Alhaji Sadiq Daware, the National Chairman of North East Commodity Association (NECAS), on Thursday urged the Federal Government to purchase grains from farmers involved in Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), to enable them repay their loans.
Daware made the call in Yola in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the recent approval of N9.4billion by the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) for the purchase of 60,000 metric tons of grains.
NECAS is the accredited commodity association implementing body of the ABP in North East.
Daware said by purchasing from the farmers who recorded good yield last cropping season, particularly in the north east, they (farmers) would not only repay their loans, but continue to participate in the laudable programme.
He cautioned against the use of middlemen for the purchase of the grains as they would not give farmers good price for their produce.
“The approval by the FEC to purchase grains for Nigerian Food and Strategic Reserve is the right thing in the right direction, especially now that the government has encouraged local production and the farmers have answered the clarion call of going back to farm.
“Substantial number of farmers have keyed into the FG Anchor Borrowers Programme by borrowing funds to cultivate their crops and have gotten excellent yields.
“So, purchasing the grains from our farmers at good price will go long way in helping them repay loans and strengthen local production.
He noted that NECAS had no good silos and that its grains could be attacked by rodents and insects if kept un-preserved for long.
“We urge government to consider us and purchase grains from us so that our farmers can pay back their loans and confidently go back to the land for the next farming cycle,” Daware appealed.(NAN)
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