FCT farmers demand credit facilities, implements from FG
Some farmer clusters in the FCT have called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and FADAMA programmes to assist farmers with credit facilities to boost food production in the country.
The farmers, who spoke in separate interviews with the NTV Africa on Monday, said adequate credit facilities and farming implements would assist government to achieve its policy on food sufficiency.
According to them, additional financing through FADAMA programmes would assist farmer clusters in the FCT with comparative advantage to increase food production and productivity.
Mr Abraham Gado, the Leader, Cassava farmers association, Gwagwalada, said access to credit facilities by farmers would also provide “market infrastructure” to reduce post-harvest loses and facilitate storage and preservation techniques.
He, however, added that adequate credit facilities as well as farming tools will also encourage people to venture into farming to be a lucrative business for food sufficiency and self-reliance.
“The budget for agriculture is always low every year and is not enough to drive the country’s economy.
“Adequate credit facilities will also encourage people to venture into farming as a lucrative business,” Gado said.
Alhaji Balla Ciroma, the Head of Irrigation Farming in Kuje Area Council, also called on the government to provide grants to agro-processors and crop producers to facilitate agricultural value-chain in the country.
He said the cost of generators and pipes to maintain irrigation farming is so expensive, saying that if loans and grants are given to farmers it would go a long way to boost productivity.
Mr Zakari Sabo, a rice farmer in Kwali Area Council, said the inability of farmers to access credit facilities was a setback to food production, adding that adequate funding would grow the country’s agricultural production.
“Farmers are facing preservation problems because we lose between 30 and 35 per cent of some of our farm produce arising from inadequate funds.
“When we go to banks for loans, they demand collateral that are not realistic from any ordinary farmer.
“There is need for the government to provide farmers with some incentives like soft loans and tractors that will enable us boost food production,” he said.
According to Sabo, there are too many conditions for accessing credit facilities which were far from the reach of peasant farmers.