CBN Anchor Borrowers programme for fish farmers begins verification in Delta
Mr Adim Nwokobia, Chairman, Delta Fisheries Association, says that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme and the ongoing verification for fish farmers will expose political farmers in the state.
He made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Thursday.
He said that verification for farmers in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiated Anchor Borrowers Programme would also boost fish production in the state.
Nwokobia also said that a team from the CBN, Bank of Industry (BOI) and the state’s Ministry of Agriculture has been conducting the verification.
He said that the physical verification had become necessary to check the infiltration of political farmers and non-fish farmers, who had wanted to hijack the programme.
He said the team had already visited 15 fish farms in Oshimili North and South Local Government Areas of the state.
Nwokobia also alleged that some fictitious names were noticed in the process of registration for the programme, adding that if these names are allowed, the real farmers will be denied the opportunity to benefit.
“The verification is very important because as the association chairman, I will like to know whose names appeared and those to benefit from the programme.
“The exercise has commenced in Oshimili North and Oshimili South where about 15 fish farms have so far been verified and we are still moving forward to visiting other farms across the state.
“The team will also advance to other local government areas to verify farmers in those locations to ensure that real farmers are captured,” he said.
He said that a meeting of the CBN-Off-takers, Input-Suppliers and farmers in Oshimili areas has been scheduled for Friday to discuss the way forward.
Nwokobia commended the steps taken by the programme managers to ensure that only authentic farmers benefited from the programme.
The programme, initiated by the CBN, aims at creating economic linkages between more than 600,000 smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors.
It also aims at increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilisation of integrated mills.
NAN reports that in Delta, the anchor programme would cover four main crops namely; Cassava, Rice, Oil Palm and Fisheries.