By: Augustine Agwuluonu
The traditional ruler of Atta Ancient Kingdom in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Geo Anika, has called for the review of the Central Bank of Nigeria Agricultural loan policy.
Eze Anika stated this in his palace during an interactive session with journalists on ways to promote agriculture in Nigeria and faulted the CBN requirement of large expanse of land from intending loan applicants in certain areas of Agriculture while describing the policy as great impediment for the development of agriculture.
He said that some zealous farmers from the South East find it difficult to access agric loans because of the policy.
Eze Anika who was a former Radio Nigeria broadcaster disclosed that land ownership system in the South East and non availability of long stretches of individual lands were great hindrance to individual farmers in the zone unlike their counterparts in the north who have vasts expanse of land.
Eze Anika submitted that the CBN should allow individual farmers to show their various fragments of land to make up for single stretch of large expanse of land which he said would achieve the same result.
He opined that “a situation where a farmer has pieces of arable land scattered in the community the CBN should consider such a farmer as qualified for loan instead of demanding a single stretch of large expanse of land as condition”.
He urged Nigerians to go back to agriculture to boost the economy as failure to do so would deepen poverty and unemployment.
The Royal father appealed to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to come and complete the Atta palm oil mill it started in the community some years ago while saying that the completion would help reduce youth unemployment in the area.