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‘10,000 Farmers Can’t Access N350m Donor Fund’

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Farmers Market
  • ‘10,000 Farmers Can’t Access N350m Donor Fund’

Ten thousand farmers in Edo State cannot access the N350 million donor fund, Edo North Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Alhaji Mohammed Oshiobugie has said.

Oshiobugie, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin, said the government failed to pay the N94 million counterpart fund for Fadama III and Rural Finance Institution Project (RUFIN).

He noted that while other states enjoyed additional financing from FADAMA III , this doesn’t apply to Edo.

The AFAN coordinator said a similar thing applied to RUFIN where government had not remitted the N12 million counterfund.

“The challenge this poses to farmers is that they have been denied access to about N350 million.

“The effect of this is that 10, 000 farm families have been left on their own.

“I wonder if this is the government’s plan for farmers; its plan to create 200,000 jobs in next four years,” he said.

According to Oshiobugie , majority of those being planned for employment are from the agriculture sector.

He said farmers did not understand the policy direction of the government, as it concerned agriculture.

The coordinator urged the government to involve farmers in agric policies, to give farmers a sense of purpose.

He noted that most agricultural policies failed due to non-involvement of farmers.

Oshiobugie said the government must adopt present trend of agricultural implementation; the Community Demand Driven (CDD) approach, same as the Bottom Top approach.

“This enables farmers to be at the driver’s seat of agricultural programmes and project implementation.

“This system ensures quality implementation and success of any proposed agricultural policy.”

He lamented that the government is yet to inaugurate this year’s farming season and make fertilisers available to farmers.

“As I speak with you, no farmer can boast of fertiliser in Edo. The government has kept us in the dark when and where fertiliser will be available.

“It is regrettable that as the previous administration, agricultural policies seem to be announced on pages of newspapers and in the television. There is nothing to show on ground.”

On the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, the coordinator said months after farmers registered and opened accounts with the Bank of Agriculture, the government had been inactive.

He said the government was silent on the scheme being embraced in other states.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Mr. Bashir Kadir denied the allegations.

Kadir, in a telephone interview with NAN in Benin, said the administration did not deliberately refuse to pay counterpart fund for agricultural programmes, but was taking its time to get things right.

He said the programmes were being reviewed to see if they would benefit the people, adding that if not, government will take action to change the situation.

“These programmes are old; running for years. We have a new programme, the Agricpreneur, where we’ll produce millionaires for the sector.

“We are reviewing Fadama and RUFIN programmes with the new one we have developed.

“It is not a closed door situation. If the benefit from these programmes that have been running is okay by the government, we will continue with them,” the permanent secretary said.

As for the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, he said the government was trying to satisfy conditions set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“We are carrying out integrity test on the data before us. We want to ensure that besides recouping loan, we are dealing with real farmers.”

Kadir said 35,000 farmers had been captured, with about N5 billion facility being the target for it.

He said the ministry was working with stakeholders in the agricultural sector, including AFAN, as regards policy direction and implementation.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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