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GIC to launch 3.5 million Euros farm finance scheme

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[FILE PHOTO] Farm land

The German International Cooperation (GIC) has disclosed plans to launch a new agriculture financing of 3.5million Euro for small scale farmers by November 2018.

The GIC Programme Coordinator for Green Innovation Centre, Caroline Trimborn, who disclosed this in Abuja during a capacity building training for agriculture correspondents in Abuja, disclosed that the programme would run for four years and the funds would be domiciled in the commercial banks, which in turn, would disburse to small scale farmers.

Trimborn, who did not disclosed the interest rate, pointed out that GIC would be working with banks willing to provide loans to smallholder farmers, adding that the banks would have to come up with criteria that farmers could meet.

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On the issue of collateral, she said that it was specific to the institutions it was working with, stating that for instance, GIC were working with the Bank of Industry on the mechanisation scheme.

She said their target was to improve the income and productivity of 200,000 smallholder farmers cultivating rice, maize, Irish potato and cassava, adding that farmers in Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Cross River, Oyo and Ogun states are involved in the project.

The programme coordinator also explained that GIC was working with up and downstream companies in value chains to improve their turnover and employment.

She added that the organization had trained roughly 150,000 smallholder farmers and was carrying out a close monitoring of farmers on the different value chains.

The organisation, she added, had improved farmers income, saying, for instance in potato, it had been able to double productivity of farmers and increase their income along the value chains.

GIC was working with the federal and state governments to increase capacity, including the state extension agents, saying, “But also we are working a lot with private sector organisations.

I think generally, if you see along the value chains, we have different intervention plans.”

She stressed the need for the farmers to view agriculture as a business such that they don’t increase production without seeing where the market is.

“So, I think this is where the government is already looking at and we are looking at that as important also,” she said.


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