The Kaduna State Government in partnership with the Bank of Agriculture has distributed cheques worth 1billion naira to small scale farmers in the state.
This is aimed at boosting agriculture and food security in Nigeria.
The money was disbursed to cooperative societies and individual farmers who have fulfilled the conditions of the Bank that enabled them to access the loan.
Both the Kaduna State Government and the Bank of Agriculture provided N500Million each as counterpart and marching fund for the purpose of encouraging small and medium scale farmers in the state.
In selecting the beneficiaries, a technical committee was set up by the State Ministry of Agriculture which screened and cleared the beneficiaries before they could access the loan.
They were selected from the three senatorial zones of the state.
Each cooperative association has an average of ten 10 farmers and will receive loans from N2.5million and above, while each individual beneficiary would receive the sum of N250,000.
In his speech at the ceremony, Governor Muhktar Yero said that the scheme is aimed at providing finance to farmers in a bid to increase performance in the sector.
The Governor reiterated the commitment of his administration towards improving the agriculture sector in the state as a way of diversifying the economy.
He noted that with the dwindling Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account, it has become imperative to revamp the agricultural sector.
He said that the loan would assist the farmers in increasing their productivity and also create employment opportunities in the drive to achieve food security and poverty alleviation in the state.
The Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Mr. Babatunde Sadikuin, said that the loan was geared towards developing agriculture into viable business, and moving it from subsistence to mechanized system.
The loan, which attracts an interest rate of 5 to 10 percent has a long term payment plan.
Some of the beneficiaries shared their their joy with Channels Television. They expressed confidence that the intervention would translate into significant progress for their farming activities.
They promised to make good use of the money in boosting their businesses and to boost food production in the country.
The Bank of Agriculture, has as its core mandate, the promotion of economic empowerment of Nigerians and the development of Nigeria’s rural communities, by supporting Agriculture and Agro-allied, Small and Medium-scale enterprises. [SOURCE; CHANNELS TV]