BY CHUKWUMA NNAM
The South-East of Nigeria has rejected the Federal Government loan policy for agriculture in the region, adding that it would put the Southeast zone in a disadvantaged position.
Speaking in this regard, a traditional ruler from Atta ancient kingdom in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state, Eze Geo Anika, vowed never to accept the agricultural loan.
Anika told journalists in his palace at Atta, Wednesday that the agric policy would put the Southeast zone in a disadvantaged position.
Anika who explained the reason for the rejection pointed out that the policy which would be implemented through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, supports farmers only with a stretched large expanse of lands.
He said: “Farmers should be allowed to combine their scattered fragments of lands to qualify for loans instead of insisting on a large expanse of land as qualification. Any agric loan policy that failed to consider the peculiar land ownership system of each region would be counterproductive in the effort to boost agriculture and food production in the country.
“The South East as the most densely populated per square kilometre in West Africa has the history of individual farmers having fragments of lands scattered over their communities, we advised the apex bank to take this into consideration as to allow mass participation in food production.
“There are willing farmers who are seriously involved in agriculture, especially in the South East, but they have pieces of land that if combined would make them eligible for loans and they should be taken into account in the disbursement of such loans than insisting on a single stretch of a large expanse of land as the condition.”