The proposed Kwara groundnut pyramid may not be realisable this planting season.
Groundnut farmers in the state had hoped for a bumper harvest this year, but some factors are militating against the realisation of their dream.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the inability of the farmers to secure loan facilities from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the major factor that will make the groundnut pyramid in the state unrealisable.
Lack of access to credit facilities and land have always hampered the farmers’ capacity to compete with other groundnut producing states like Niger.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP on the development, the state’s chairman of the National Groundnuts Producers and Marketing Association of Nigeria, Hon Paul Tsowa lamented that: “ The leadership tussles at the national level of the association has affected us in Kwara as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), declined us the needed incentive.
“We were into the Anchor Borrower scheme this year which allows Kwara groundnut farmers to apply for loan. But the leadership crisis at the national level made us fail woefully.
“We had certain inputs like spraying can, seeds and chemical from the CBN, but the apex bank withholds the fund needed to boost planting this year.”
He added that groundnut production in the state this year will witness gross decline as a result of the farmers’ inability to secure the CBN loan.
“We should be expecting decline in groundnut production in Kwara this year. We have been hampered by the internal face – off which caused the CBN to renege on its statutory mandate.
“ The CBN at a point approved what we demanded before it. About 2000 groundnut farmers in Kwara applied for N350,000 loan each after which they had given us some inputs. If not for the lingering crisis, the loan would have been disbursed.
“Only very few of our members who were able to source for credits externally are the ones who had extensive planting season, but they are very few. So, our earlier projection of groundnuts pyramid in Kwara for this year will not be achievable,” Twosa disclosed.