NIGERIA – The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved compensation via loan for over 550,000 rice farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster, reports the Vanguard.

RIFAN National President, Aminu Goronyo, revealed that CBN governor had directed that the loans should be restructured for a period of four years after a proposal to shift the .

“Instead of paying the loan on three installments within a year, the loan will be restructured to be paid within four years now and be paid by installments,” he said.

He explained that RIFAN only championed the case of affected farmers under its care, but expressed the hope that all the registered farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) that were affected would benefit from it.

Goronyo said the bank had also directed that a fresh loan should be given to the affected farmers so that they could go back to the field and recover their losses.

“RIFAN is working on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Presidency and the CBN to compensate the victims as promised by President Mohammadu Buhari.

RIFAN is also seeking assistance from the CBN to restructure the loans to alleviate the suffering of the affected farmers and make them go back to the field,’’ he said.

According to the lobby group boss, compensation to the affected farmers under the RIFAN/ CBN/ ABP model programme Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) was an indication of support to the farmers negatively affected by the excessive rains of 2018.

President Buhari had earlier noted that the National Food Security Council had plans underway to see a compensation package for all flood impacted farmers and fishermen.

It was reported that flood destroyed over 100,000 hectares of rice farms in Jigawa, affecting more than 19,000 rice farmers across the 23 local government areas of the state.

Sokoto State also lost an estimated 61,197 tonnes of rice valued at N27.5 billion to the floods during the last cropping season while kibe state lost 80% of its rice to the floods.

Other states that were adversely affected by the floods included Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Benue, Katsina, Nasirawa and Bayelsa states destroying over 122,653 hectares of agricultural land.