Kaduna Govt, BOA Disburse Agriculture Loans To Farmers
THE Kaduna State Government has embarked on the disbursement of loans to farmers in the state under a partnership with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), with a total sum of N1 billion earmarked for access by farmers.
Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, who spoke at the flag-off of the distribution of cheques to benefiting farmer cooperative groups and individual farmers last week, said the scheme is aimed at providing finance to farmers in a bid to increase performance and agricultural yields in the sector.
The Governor said the Technical Committee established by the State Ministry of Agriculture had screened six Cooperative Associations and nine individual farmers to benefit from the first phase of the scheme.
Yero said beneficiaries have been drawn on equal basis from the three senatorial zones of the State; each Cooperative Association has an average of 10 farmers and will receive agricultural loan ranging from N2.5million and above. He added each individual beneficiary will receive the sum of N250,000.
The governor reiterated the commitment of the present administration towards improving the agriculture sector in the state as a way of diversifying the economy noting that “With a population of approximately 170 million people in the Country, Government at both Federal and State levels cannot afford to neglect the Agricultural Sector, especially with the ever dwindling Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account and the need to diversify the sources of revenue to fund government programmes and activities.
Managing Director of BOA, Mr. Babatunde Sadiku said stakeholders to this arrangement have embraced agriculture as an enduring renewable resource with positive impact on employment generation, food security and poverty reduction.
According to Sadiku, Kaduna State has high agricultural potentials, which is why the BOA and Kaduna State Government have built meaningful relationship.
BOA boss said the bank had financed a number of public and private agricultural businesses in Kaduna State adding it has disbursed over N2.2 billion to various Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) through its seven retail outlets operating in Kaduna since 2002.
The resource is to support the production and processing of rice, maize, wheat, ginger, tomatoes, onion, livestock products and provision of tractors/implements.