Dr Tunde Arosanyin, the National Coordinator, Zero Hunger Commodity Association of Nigeria, has called for improvement in the quality of farm inputs to farmers under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Arosanyin who made the call in Abuja, described inputs such as fertiliser and herbicides distributed to farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s scheme as “a bit substandard”.
“If you look at the quality of inputs that are coming from CBN and other inputs suppliers, they are a bit substandard.
“For instance, the fertilisers are hygroscopic, that is, they attract so much water.
“Most farmers lost 50 per cent of what they received before usage,” Arosanyin said.
The anchor borrowers programme, An initiative of the CBN was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
It aims at creating a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.
In a related development, Comfort Sunday, a farmer in the Federal Capital Territory, decried the insincerity displayed on the sales of fertiliser under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).
According to her, the programme which was created to aid increase in the productivity of rural farmers, especially women had not really impacted well on the rural farmers.
“The way the distribution of fertiliser was handled by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is capable of discouraging women farmers from engaging in agribusiness.
“The insincerity displayed on the sales of the fertiliser as against the promises made to the farmers on easy accessibility, especially through the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative Programme is thing of concern,” she said.
She, however, called for urgent steps to taken be taken to address the challenge in order to have easy access of the fertiliser at an afforded price during the 2019 farming season.