CBN partners Syngenta to check fake agro-chemicals

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently working through its Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Project Implementation Office to ensure that Nigerian farmers get quality agro-chemicals and other inputs from genuine manufacturers as a means of protecting them from fraudulent middlemen involved agro-inputs marketing in the country.

Already, the apex regulatory bank has opened discussions with Syngenta AG, one of the largest global specialized chemicals company, with a view to creating local linkages between its accredited representatives directly with farmers and cut off business-men and other impostors who are faking agrochemicals and other inputs, thereby causing substantial losses to farmers.

Giving the hint during a chat with Sunday Mirror at the sidelines of One- Day National Advocacy Platform for Smallholder Women Farmers organised by ActionAid Nigeria Tuesday in Abuja, a senior Officer of the CBN, Dr. Maryam Waisu Yaro, explained that the Bank was determined to use the ongoing discussions with manufacturers of agro inputs to help farmers fix the inputs value chain and protect them from unbridled exploitation of marketers.

In addition, Yaro said the CBN would also be ready to support smallholder farmers, particularly those that could organise themselves into groups, through capacity building support, especially trainings on how to optimise their productivity and yields from sales through improved market access.

The CBN staff, who spoke amid contributions by Alhaji Aliyu Hameed, another NIRSAL representative at the forum, is that what CBN was doing through the NIRSAL is to ensure that it grooms transparency in all the transactions between the farmers and the suppliers of inputs and ensure that their chemical works before even full payments are made for such supplies.

Hameed, told National Mirror at the sidelines of the Advocacy Forum, said “our aim in trying to fix the value chain for farmers. What we try to do is to ensure that the farmers are not cheated.

Whether in terms of quality of fertiliser in terms of quality of seeds or in terms of quality of chemicals or even in terms of financing they get from commercial banks because farmers are not really that educated enough to know the issues and the deals involved in this.

“What CBN does through NIRSAL is to ensure that we groom transparency and clarity to all the transactions between the farmers and the supply. One of the key issues we made an example of is for example, most of the tomato farmers are saying that when they spray their chemicals, they buy in the open market, they spray but it doesn’t work, the insects are still there.

“So, we said why don’t we go into the root of the problem, instead of asking the farmers to go individually with money in their pocket to buy from the local dealer who buys from another adulterated person. We said, you international agro chemical companies have dealers that are licensed by you, why don’t you link us up directly with those dealers”, Hameed clarified.

He explained further that what the CBN did was to ask Syngenta to link the apex bank up with their local accredited dealer in the country -Biostat-, a Lagosbased company to make sure that Biostat deals directly with the farmers.

According to him, the good thing is that they will supply and ensure that their chemical works before even full payment is made unlike before when a farmer would just walk into open market and buy something inside a can, the quality or efficacy of which they are not sure of.

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