The Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Association of Nigeria says it has secured a loan of N2.5bn for its members from a commercial bank to support their farming businesses.
The National President of the association, Mr Ayodele Ojo, disclosed this at the second-anniversary celebration of the group in Akure, the Ondo State capital, saying the disbursement of the loan would start in April this year.
He commended the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for the support given to the association.
He said the association had applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the loan.
He said, “We thank God it’s two years today we started the association; we are currently in 26 states. We thank the government for the support given to us. We wrote the CBN and they have replied us too. Very soon, the bank would release the money to the cocoa and plantain farmers.
“We wrote the CBN requesting for N2.5bn for our members who spread across 18 states of the federation. We have a membership of over 3,000 before, but now we are over 60,000. By the end of April, the loan would be disbursed.”
The CPFAN president said the association had established plantain processing factories in Anambra State, adding that there was a plan to establish cocoa and plantain factories across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
A member of the association, Mrs Helen Madu, who represented Anambra State at the anniversary event, disclosed that the Anambra factories would soon be inaugurated.
“Now, we are constructing processing factories in Nnewi. We want to start producing cocoa beverages. During our launching in Enugu, it was our beverages that were served. Likewise, during our inauguration at Awka, it was our products that were served. The processing factories would be inaugurated in February this year,” she said.