While the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is reportedly disturbed by poor patronage of its intervention programmes in Kano State, women farmers in Enugu State are frowning at lack of access to agricultural and small business loans.
Rising from their two-day sensitization workshop held at Royal Palace Hotel, Enugu, at the weekend,  the women, under the auspices of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) said they had missed their share of the benefits of the facilities offered by the CBN through the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) in Enugu State due to bureaucracy.
The Enugu State coordinator of SWOFON, Mrs. Lovelyn Ejim, also narrated the difficulties they had been experiencing to access agricultural loans from the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).
”We in Enugu State have missed out on the benefits of the facilities being offered by the CBN because of bureaucracy, pointing out that the development had made many women farmers to shun the intervention programmes since they were introduced in the state.
According to Mrs. Ejim, “Lack of awareness, and knowledge about the relevance of the programmes and lack of seriousness on the part of past government’s in the state were some of the reasons most people in Enugu State lost out”
“The much talked of the intervention programmes such as the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, MSME Development Fund, Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Agriculture Credit Support Scheme and SME Redistribution and Refinancing Facility are good but the implementation is another big bottleneck” they noted.
“There is imminent poor harvest season following our inability to access agricultural loans and other support from government.”
The women also called for the implementation of the 2004 Malabu declaration where 54 African countries agreed to set aside ten per cent of their annual budgets for agriculture.
They stated that several months after applying for loans through the Anchor Borrowers Scheme (ABS), no funds had been released, even when the farming season, especially rice cultivation is coming to an end.
On the activities of herdsmen, the women took time to recall how  Herdsmen  roam their farms freely, destroying farm products and raping women, who are often alone in the farmlands.
“Government must intensify efforts in solving the security challenges in many parts of Enugu State and ensure farmers and their produce is protected at all times.”


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