Nigerian farmers lifted by N105bn funding, 400,000 jobs created — NIRSAL
NIGERIAN farmers have said to have been lifted by over N105 billion funding sourced from public and private sources, according to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). NIRSAL, in a statement on Thursday, said the funds, set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), were inserted across the pre- uPstream, upstream, midstream, and downstream segments of the sector.
The facility, it said, helped positioned farmers in the rice, maize, cassava, sesame and soybean value chains, across Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This development came on the heels of NIRSAL’s proposed 16,000 Agro Geo-Cooperatives (AGCs), a finance facilitation process designed to adopt over 8 million farmers to cultivate 4 million hectares of farmland.
So far, over 452 Agro Geo-Cooperatives covering over 270,000 hectares of the land have benefitted from the process through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). According to NIRSAL, the funding has had a positive effect on Nigeria’s economy, with the scheme creating over 400,000 jobs in the agriculture value chains.
“As more AGCs develop around the territory and beyond, NIRSAL continues to provide training on the book- 6 FRIDAY, www.tribuneonlineng.com Nigerian Tribune @nigeriantribune Nigerian Tribune tribuneonlineng 31 JULY, 2020 business news keeping & modern farming practices, mechanisation for pre-planting, planting & harvesting activities and distribution of improved, high-yielding seed varieties.
“NIRSAL has also linked the 926 FCT farmers cultivating 1,140 hectares of land with guaranteed offtake markets thereby protecting them from price fluctuations and the exploitative tendencies of some middlemen. “Other forms of support include the provision of fertiliser, crop protection products, and round-the-clock technology-driven project monitoring services,” the statement read in part.
Recently, farmers in the Dobi area of the FCT received inputs from the organisation to support their wet season farming activities. NIRSAL structured farmers in the FCT into 16 established Agro Geo-Cooperatives AGCs, 12 of which are included in the ABP for the 2020 wet season.
According to NIRSAL’s /Head of Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Office (PMRO), Ayo Olaleye, the Federal Government via the ABP/AGCs models will continue to develop and deliver a bespoke framework that will open the banking the sector to agriculture.
He restated the commitment of NIRSAL’s Managing Director/CEO, Aliyu Abdulhameed, towards prioritising the needs of farmers to ensure they receive quality and timely inputs to boost their productivity.
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