By Miracle Enuji
Stakeholders of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme scheme in Delta State have been charged to double their commitment towards its success in the state.
This call was made by the Chairman, Project Monitoring Team (PMT) of the Anchor Borrowers Programme in the State, Mr. Matthew Badaki, at an emergency meeting between the with Anchors, Cooperative Chairmen, Input Suppliers and Farmers on Friday, June 30, 2007 at the Asaba Branch of the CBN.
Badaki lamented that the programme which started in February 2016, is still in its first batch when it was supposed to have finished the second batch and preparing for the third batch noting that the programme.
Decrying the ills currently holding sway in the programme, Mr. Badaki said that reports of black marketing of farm inputs by the farmers, supply of inferior materials by some contractors and the failure to supply inputs as and when due, are some of the challenges affecting the smooth implementation of the programme.
“The current trend of Feed Selling in Camp 74, Ughelli, Sapele and Warri is another sad development. There are also reports of some farmers selling the supplied Juveniles. This is a criminal act and an insult to the good intentions of the Anchor Borrowers programme.”
“The supply of inferior materials especially tarpaulin calls for worry. Over 60% of the tarpaulins supplied to farmers cannot stand the test of time and the loss accruing from this fake materials do not spell good for the programme.”
“Anchor suppliers who are not capable of delivering inputs as and when due should give way. Some input suppliers will tell you that they are ready especially those who are to supply Juveniles, but when asked to supply, they will supply only 3000 out of 30, 000 request and they want payments immediately.”
Badaki warned Anchor Heads to advise their farmers against the sales of farm inputs and called on cooperative heads to submit their cheques with an irrevocable instruction.
“If any farmer is caught selling inputs, we will arrest the person, the cooperative chairman as well as the Anchor as instructed by the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa. Then such individuals will pay back CBN’s loan in line with the input sold from the postdated cheque submitted by the cooperative head.”
The PMT chief called on Input Suppliers to always make ready their supplies for the farmers.
“It is not a shame, you can give somebody that has the money to do it in order to sustain the chain flow and supply of inputs to awaiting farmers. Always tell us when you are not ready so that someone else can pick up the job.”
“We are going to change our strategy of issuing payments. We will critically examine the supplied tarpaulins, see the water gauge capacity before we make any single payment and when we notice any deficiency, the input supplier will bear the risk.”
“All this issues need to be resolved. We should be ashamed that we are not moving forward,” Mr. Badaki echoed.
Speaking further, he disclosed that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who is very passionate about the success of the programme, recently donated funds and two brand new cars for easy monitoring of the project across the state.
In her remark, the State Branch Controller of the CBN, Mrs. Elizabeth Agu said that everyone should understand their purpose in the Anchor Programme and appreciate the anguish of CBN appealing to those who lack the capacity to marshal out the programme to own up and come for more enlightenment.
She called for more synergy between the Anchors, Input Suppliers and Farmers because they all need each other to succeed in the programme. In her words “We need each other for this programme to work. Nobody should say I can do it alone because CBN or the farmers can not do it alone. What we need in this Anchor programme is a change of heart and a change of strategy because what we have been doing is not working. Let everyone have a change of heart because if this programme scatters, it will affect everybody.”
Present at the meeting were the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural resources, Mr. Austin Chikezie; the State Branch Head, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Ndieze Alphonsus; Anchor Heads; Cooperative Chairmen; Input Suppliers and Farmers across the state.