Heritage Bank, NatnudO seal pact on food security in Nigeria
Heritage Bank Plc has said it is supporting NatnudO Foods, a food processing company in its determination to make poultry affordable and accessible for the people.
Speaking at the media briefing organized on food security in Nigeria, Team Member, Agric Finance, Specialised Banking of the bank, Adelana Ogunjirin, said the bank decided to partner with the company in order to ease the burden of poultry production in the country.
He explained that the interest of the bank in agriculture and food production is second to none as it is impossible to increase productivity on empty stomach.
According to him, Heritage Bank is supporting the company in the area of funding infrastructural projects required to make agricultural business more productive for farmers in different parts of the country. He disclosed that Heritage Bank supported such projects with the Central Bank of Nigeria-intervention fund with a maximum interest rate of 9 per cent.
Ogunjirin said the project structure on ground, as prepared by NatnudO, has helped to reduce the level of risk which could impact on the profitability to different parties. As a result, he promised that Heritage Bank would be willing to support such projects at any time as long as it would boost agricultural produce in the country.
Earlier in his remarks, Coordinator, natnudO Foods’, broilerout-grower scheme tagged “natnuPreneur”, Gbolade Adewole, acknowledged that the financial institution has been so supportive in making the required infrastructure available for the participating farmers on the project.
He commended the bank for standing out as a veritable pillar upon which the food production initiative of NatnudO Foods rests. However, he implored Heritage Bank to get ready to do more for the farmers who are increasingly showing more interest in the scheme.
According to him, farmers are getting more interested because they enjoy between 7.5 per cent and 15 per cent profit on investment per cycle.
His words: “With a potential to conclude 5 cycles per year, efficient farmers stand to make between 37.5 per cent to 75 per cent profit, making natnuPreneur ‘broiler out-grower’ scheme the most profitable in the country.
He also disclosed that between October 2014 and July 2017, poultry farmers registered under the three-year pilot phase have reared over 4 million birds and the firm has handled birds to the value of over N4 billion.
Adewole explained that what makes this possible is that natnuPreneur does not only make market available for the participating broiler farmers, it also gives them the required technical support for the success of their farms. He stated: “We treat our farmers’ farms as our own and invest a lot of time in ensuring their poultry businesses are run with global best practices as we run and manage ours, because we believe that our success is closely tied to the success of our farmers”.