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Women Rural Farmers Lament Lack Of Credit, Loan Facilities

…Wants Implementation  Of Malabo Declaration on Agriculture

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu, Nigeria

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Female rural farmers in Enugu State, South-east Nigeria, operating under the platform of Small Scale Women Farmers in Nigeria (SWOFON) have expressed displeasure over poor access to markets, as well as lack of credit and loan facilities.

They stressed that lack of loans to do business was forcing them to sell their produce at a  giveaway prices.

Speaking  Monday  during a one day dissemination meeting of the body, the Enugu state chapter Coordinator of the group, Mrs Evelyn Nnenna Ejim, pointed out that  poor access to the markets especially during the harvest periods when some perishable crops are in abundance was  not an encouraging development for farmers.

According to her, because of the inability of the farmers to have proper  access  to the markets, as well absence of proper storage or preservation  facilities, farmers who labored so much  to plant the crops are usually forced to  sell them at cheaper rates.

The SWOFON boss, in Enugu said the lack of credit  and loan facilities, has remained a serious obstacle to their members,  adding that many workers who applied for the ANCHOR Borrowers  Scheme in the state were yet to obtain the loans.

She noted that despite the fact that many of the loan seekers applied many  months ago, they were yet to get the loans, stating  that they had expected  the agricultural loan to come through the Bank of Agriculture.

Mrs Ejim , therefore, opined  that if the Bank of Agriculture was having operational problems, the government should channel the loans through some  commercial banks.

She used the meeting  to appeal to the government to implement the Malabo Declaration on Agriculture which entails that 10 percent of the budget of all the involved countries should be sunk into agriculture as part of efforts to encourage agriculture.

The SWOFON President in Enugu State stressed that there was need for the  implementation of the Declaration to enable Small Scale Rural farmers have  access to their own percentage.


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