What is Hindering Bank of Agriculture from Giving Loan to Farmers
The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) has expressed dissatisfaction over farmers’ attitude toward repayment of loans obtained through the Anchor Borrower Scheme.
Its Managing Director, Alwan Ali Hassan, who stated this yesterday in Abuja while hosting the delegation of Agricultural Commodities Forum led by its Chairman, Bashir Ibrahim, said less than 10 per cent of the loan had been repaid by the commodity associations.
Hassan, who noted that only one commodity association has repaid the loans since he assumed office in May, last year, said the poor attitude of farmers towards loan repayment is negatively affecting operations of the bank.
He said the repayment would help the bank make funds available for new sets of smallholder farmers or commodity associations for the country to be food secured.
He said: “The percentage is not encouraging, it’s absolutely low below 10 per cent, it came only from one association; the other two have not paid anything since I arrived here as managing director.
“We have been calling them, writing to them and talking to them, unfortunately it has not come in but we hope that the associations will live up to their responsibility and pay the loans that they have taken, this will help the bank give money to new set of farmers or associations.
Responding, Ibrahim associated the issue of insecurity, flooding and COVID-19 to why some commodity associations have defaulted in loan repayment.
He said most farmers had to pay some people for protection before they could even harvest.
He said: “From 2019 and as far back as 2018, there have been a lot of challenges in agriculture, there is a lot of insecurity in certain places farmers cannot even go to harvest their produce, other places, they have to pay before they can even harvest on their farms.
“We had a situation of massive flooding in about 19 states in 2018, farmers were given money and when they went and planted, natural disaster happened, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has not been forthcoming to help the farmers and 2019 and 2020, we had the issue of COVID-19, about six months there were no agricultural activities, some people planted but couldn’t harvest.’’
He however urged the Federal Government to subsidize agriculture to address food insecurity and ease loan repayment.