June 18, 2009

Cashew body calls for holistic supervision of N200b agric grants

The President of Cashew Nuts Association of Nigeria (CNAN), Mr Tunji Owoeye have urged the CBN to properly supervised the disbursement of the N200 billion grant for commercial farming to meet the desire impact.

Cashew Nut

Cashew Nut

Owoeye told News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that except the designated disbursing banks are properly monitored to ensure that only farmers, processors and allied sectors benefited from the loanthe effort in futility.

Owoeye expressed fears that with the global financial meltdown and difficulties in accessing fund that banks could likely divert such agriculture grant to other use.

He however applauded the federal government efforts for putting the fund in place saying one thing is to provide the fund but another thing to get access to the fund as planned.

He suggested that CBN should consult the various agriculture stakeholders on modality to disburse the loan adding that it should be done through cooperative and association, .because they can identified the members
In addition, he said the bank should give part of the loan as inputs saying such would discourage non_agrarians from taken undue advantage of the system

“ The farmer can get the necessary inputs such as fertilizer, seedily, chemical, land plough and cash for farm management,” he said.

Owoeye said that that failure of the banks to finance the various agriculture projects has been a bane to the nation’s efforts to establish mechanise farming and be self food sufficient

He urged the federal government to assist in the cashew regeneration to boost production in the country.
Owoeye said that the association was collaborating with The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to host Cashew 2 Day Cash Awareness in Abuja to draw government attentions to sector.

The CNAN President said the sector was long due for regeneration fund and stamp_out the old cashew trees in estate farms and in wild that have become unproductive.“The exercise entails planting of new hybrid cashew trees, nursery and enlightment campaign to sensitise more farmers and youths back to the farmers,” he said.

Owoeye said that government should sensitise the general public to encourage local consumption of cashew because of it health impact on lung and heart.

In addition, he said the present global financial crisis has affected consumer’s disposable income to buyer cashew nuts products resulting to low export.

“The Cashew glut has affected the global international market, not only Nigeria. The Financial meltdown is affecting the luxury items such as cashew products,” he said.

He said that the association has embarked on aggressive campaign to train the farmer’s on farming best practice and production of quality and quantity products.

He explained that the efforts was to change the perception for Nigeria cocoa that is  poor and is been discounted up to about $100 per tone compare to other African countries at the international market