The 225 Wards of Rice Farmers Association of Kebbi State, 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, Shehu Abubakar-Zaki, appealed Birnin Kebbi yesterday while briefing reporters on the effects of the flood to farmlands across the state.
He said rice farmers had lost all their planted crops to the flood, and could not, in any way, sustain the repayment of the loans.
Abubakar-Zaki stated 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.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all our members redeemed part of their loans and utilised the remnant for the rainy season farming.
“We intended to complete the repayment after this year’s harvest but as fate would have it, 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.”
He said the association in partnership with the relevant authorities is still assessing the destruction and losses as the flood was still wreaking havoc to farmlands in the state.
Abubakar-Zaki urged governments to assist the farmers with agricultural inputs to ensure massive dry season farming when the water recedes.
“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.”