The Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Anthony Eneji, yesterday charged beneficiaries of the N1bn agricultural loan facility given to farmers not to renege on terms of agreement saying that agriculture was at the centre of Nigeria`s economy.
The commissioner gave the charge during a sensitisation workshop with the theme, “Agric Loan Re-structuring and Rescheduling” organised by the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme (CACS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural
Resources in Calabar.
While lamenting on how 598 farmers had benefited from the N1bn Agric loan facility disbursed to beneficiaries in 2012 through the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture could not be repaid as at the stipulated period, he blamed the loan beneficiaries for failing to support themselves from moving ahead from subsistence to commercial farming.
He, however, frowned at the unwillingness of some loan beneficiaries to pay the loan until the stipulated period elapsed.
The Agric Commissioner charged defaulting farmers to take advantage of the workshop to meet with Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme Management to restructure their outstanding loans and to stick to the new payment schedule so provided.
Speaking also at the event, Special Adviser to the Governor Ben Ayade on Agriculture, Mrs. Ivonne Idem, appreciated the farmers and stakeholders for turning up for the workshop, noting that Governor Ayade had the interest of farmers in the state at heart, She stressed that the governor was ready to assist them with more loan facilities.
The SA called on farmers to realize that re-structuring and Rescheduling organised by the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme remained the best option open to them and urged them to make use of the opportunity.
In a vote of thanks, the Director, Commercial Agric Credit Scheme, Mr. Alban Nwogu thanked the Deputy Governor and farmers for making the workshop possible.
He pleaded with farmers not to see loans provided by government as national cake, but as a way to assist them and make their payment top priority.