The Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Nasarawa State Alhaji Ramaham Abubakar, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing a collateral-free loan scheme for farmers.
Abubakar gave the commendation while speaking at the inauguration of Wet/Dry Season Loan Recovery on Thursday in Keffi.
He told farmers that with Buhari’s loan revolving scheme was without collateral would help them to expand rice production in the country.
Abubakar said the president meant well for farmers and Nigerians, adding that what they should do to appreciate his gesture was by repaying the loans as at when due.
“ All of us should pay back our loans when due.
“We are here today for the purpose of recovery of the loans given to farmers in order to key into the next season. We are highlighting the importance of recovery.
Abubakar said that the loan was a revolving loan and if beneficiaries refused to repay, other farmers would not be able to benefit.
He said it was a single-digit interest loans and this was a big thing if the Federal Government could do that for them.
He recalled how they used to struggle to look for farm inputs that were now given to them as a result of the loan scheme.
“Today, the Federal Government has given us water pumps, bags of fertiliser, chemicals, even the mechanisation tractors,
“All that is expected from rice farmers in the production of paddy rice.
“By so doing, we are feeding the nation, saving the country from unnecessary waste through the importation of bad rice, while farmers in the country produce quality rice.’’
The Secretary of the association, Mr Joshua Jonathan, said that farmers were now beginning to live up to their responsibilities and the government was also intervening in a good way.
He said one of the challenges the farmers faced was the issue of transportation, saying they were harvesting without mobility and could not get their produce from points of production to consumers.
Jonathan called on the government to look into road rehabilitation and transportation as these would help to make loan recovery easy. (NAN)