Anchor Poultry Borrowers Finally Flagged-off
After months of being put on hold, the Anchor Poultry Borrowers scheme has finally been flagged off.
The Scheme, which was flagged off in Uyo on 15th December 2016, witnessed the distribution of 20,000 day old chicks and 900 bags of poultry feed in the presence of over 3,500 farmers, Anchor firm in charge of the scheme – New Phase of Agriculture, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Host, Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Cooperation, FCMB, Akwa Prime Hatchery, Poultry Association of Nigeria, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Agriculture and Project monitoring, Mr Moses Armstrong.
Briefing Newsmen after the flag off, Mr Moses Armstrong, who is popularly tagged the ‘New Face of Agriculture’, disclosed that 4,280 poultry farmers are now certified to be beneficiaries of the scheme.
He explained that few of the farmers who are yet to get delivery of their Day-old Chicks and feed are the ones who are yet to rectufy their Bank Verification Numbers, urging them to rectify the issues to stand a chance of benefiting from the scheme.
The Governor’s aide on Agriculture offered insight to the fact that for Borrower Scheme of such nature to record success, a Project Monitoring Team has been set up for evaluation and to help decide on how the loan will be paid.
He hinted that he is a member of the team with the Development Fund Officer of CBN serving as Chairman.
On why the scheme was flagged off when Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly (AKHA) was yet to make public its report on the investigation it carried out on the scheme, Mr Armstrong said that the decision was not in any way against the investigation of the House, insisting that the AKHA only withheld the flag off during its two weeks investigation.
“After the two weeks of investigation, we were free to flag off the scheme. They told us the programme was suspended for two weeks and after the expiration of the two weeks, I think we should go ahead and make Akwa Ibom farmers proud.
“The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has no blame, their decision to set up a panel of investigation was in order. They found out that something may not have been right in the publication and that was why they came in to investigate on the case. I want to believe they are satisfied in their investigation.
“Dont forget the House said they were not investigating the scheme rather the newspaper publication. They needed to know if the names published were true beneficiaries, Akwa Ibom People and are true poultry farmers. I believe they have found that out.”
Mr Armstrong expressed hope that beneficiaries will make good use of the scheme and exit the level of subsistent farming to commercial farming hence key into the plans the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has for Agriculture in the State.