The Lagos State chapter of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PANLAG) in Lagos said that the Anchor Borrowers Scheme was not designed to favour poultry farmers.
The Anchor Borrowers scheme was introduced in 2015 by the present administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund farming activities at a single digit interest rate of 9 per cent, engaging processors (serving as off-takers) in the process.
Mr Godwin Egbede, the newly elected chairman of PANLAG, told the News men on the sidelines of the association’s election in Lagos, that the scheme would not work with poultry farmers in Lagos.
Egbede said that the association called for a meeting with the off-takers to state their reservations on the conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) but no meeting point was reached.
He said: “The programme is a good one but there is a lot to be done, especially on the conditions in the MoU by the off-takers who are not ready to dare any loss.
“Farmers cannot afford to produce and bear 100 per cent of transportation losses that occur in the condition of weight loss during the period of transportation.
“The design is faulty and we told them our reservations, drafting our MoU with our lawyers and stating that they should bear some of the liabilities but they refused.
“This should be a win-win situation for all the parties, the Federal Government, CBN, the commercial banks and farmers as a whole, and if we cannot have that, then poultry farmers will not be part of it,’’ he said.
He pledged to move the association forward by supporting every member and pushing for a state poultry farm as in other states like Oyo and Ogun.
Mrs Olabisi Ayo-Hamilton, a feed miller and livestock farmer, who was elected Deputy Chairman, said that she was excited about the new executives who she believed were formidable and vibrant.
Ayo-Hamilton told newsmen that she would work with the new chairman to drive productivity and accountability in the association.
“As part of the executive, I will give my all to the chairman; especially in the area of the Anchor Borrowers scheme which should be rectified quickly to enable poultry farmers access the funds.
“When we had the issue of the scheme and MoU, PANLAG as a body refused but some gullible farmers went ahead with the design and today they are not happy.
“So, we hope and pledge to work together to take the association to the next level,’’ she said.
A patron of the association simply identified as Alhaji Bello, said the anchor borrowers scheme was an issue that should be addressed as quickly as possible before the end of the present administration.
According to Bello, there is still egg and chicken glut and the issue of smuggled poultry products which meant there is work to be done by the new executives.
He said: “We need to focus on the market and educate the public on wholesome chicken and for them to stop patronising imported poultry products.
“We all have our farms, the in-built capacity is there, how well are we utilising it to full capacity?
“Opportunities abound if we can all find solution to our challenges,’’ he said.