By Ibrahim Bello
Birnin Kebbi, Sept. 10, 2020 The 225 Wards of Rice Farmers Association of Kebbi, have appealed to the Federal and State Governments, as well as the Central Bank to suspend the anchor borrower’s loan repayment until 2021 to 2022.
Chairman of the association, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar-Zaki, made the appeal in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the devastating effect of flood to farmlands across the state.
He said farmers, especially rice farmers, have lost all their planted crops to the flood, and could not, in any way, sustain the repayment of the loans.
Abubakar-Zaki averred that the farmers were committed to the repayment, adding that almost all the farmers had reduced the bulk of their loan after the dry season harvest.
“In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all our members redeemed a part of their loan and utilised the remnant for the rainy season farming.
“Our intention was to complete the repayment after this year’s harvest but God has done what He so wished, the flood ensued and the resultant effect was destructive upon our crops.
“We don’t even have farmlands to plant now and all our farmlands have been submerged. Where can we get money to repay the loan.”
According to him, the association in collaboration with the relevant authorities are still assessing the magnitude of the destruction and losses as the flood is till wrecking havoc to farmlands in the state.
Abubakar-Zaki also called on governments to further assist the farmers with agricultural inputs in order to ensure massive dry season farming when the water receded.
“We are, therefore, appealing to the federal, state governments and CBN as well as the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to suspend the anchor borrower’s loan repayment and collection until 2021 to 2022 when the farmers are back on their feet and can pay,” the chairman added.