The Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) on Wednesday advised its members to take advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N20 billion loan to boost their productions.
Mr Segun Atho, the South-West Zonal Coordinator of the association, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He said that N20 billion out of the N200 billion loan approved by the Federal Government was meant for rice farmers to develop the agriculture sector.
Atho recalled that part of the loan had already been accessed by farmers in Kebbi and Kano States.
He expressed optimism that farmers from other states would access the credit facility soon.
``With the launching of the agriculture loans and farmers in Kebbi and Kano States accessing it, I believe rice production can move forward.
``The CBN said it can give a loan of between N150 million and N250 million to farmers that are producing food items.
``Twenty billion naira has been set aside as loan to rice farmers out of N200 billion earmarked for the sector by the Federal Government.
``We believe it will soon cut across all states,’’ Atho said.
The coordinator, however, blamed some commercial banks for demanding many documents from farmers, thereby making it difficult for them to access the loan.
He said that the banks were asking the farmers to tender their Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and others before they could access the loan.
``Not all rice farmers are accessing the loans because there are some banks that are not agriculture friendly.
``They are still complaining that the commercial banks are still requesting for C of Os,’’ he said.