The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, on Wednesday pledged to support the Federal Government in the recovery of Anchor Borrowers loans granted to farmers. IAR’s Executive Director, Prof. Mohammad Ishiyaku, assured of the support as he toured its Tela Maize Farmers Field at Kakangi in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
He appealed to stakeholders and beneficiaries of the loan scheme to support President Bola Tinubu’s drive on the recovery of the loans. “It is a legal and economic matter; there is nothing that legitimises refusal to repay a loan taken. “Nigerians should rally behind the president to ensure that money provided by government to improve food security is not mismanaged by few Nigerians. “I am one of those Nigerians who believe in whatever it will take to recover these funds and put them back into appropriate use,’’ Ishiyaku said. He decried the attitude of those condemning government’s loan recovery drive and called for a re-evaluation of the approach to the loan recovery processes. Ishiyaku noted that if farmers formed the habit of not repaying loans, they would be depriving people interested in starting agriculture business access to funds.
He said his visit to the field was to extend the appreciation of the institute to the farmers on behalf of scientists and technologists of the institute. He expressed excitement that IAR’s TELA maize was being embraced by farmers and translated into economic development for the country. Earlier, the principal investigator of TELA Maize Project, Prof. Rabiu Adamu, said the trial was part of the requirements for the release of new seed varieties. He added that the trial was an on-farm exercise, a farmer-managed trial on four different maize hybrids for test and evaluation.
Adamu said IAR was demonstrating the Tela maize fields in more than 15 locations. He added that the result gathered by farmers’ reference would guide the institute on the eventual release of the variety preferred by farmers. Responding, Alhaji Kabiru Salihu, Chairman, Maize Farmers Association, Kaduna State chapter commended IAR for developing Tela Maize and other improved maize varieties. Salihu observed that improved seeds and better agronomic practices introduced by IAR had increased farmers’ yields and enhanced their earnings. (NAN)