FG disburses N9.08 billion to Southeast farmers
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has said that the N9.08 billion injected into agriculture in the Southeastern part of the country was in line with Federal Government’s food programme for the country.
The bank’s Managing Director, Kabiru Mohammed said the move was part of efforts to diversify the economy and attain food security.Of the amount so far disbursed to farmers in the region, Abia got N1.4b, Anambra got N3.3b while Ebonyi got N578m. Also, Enugu got N1.7b while Imo got N2b.
Mohammed told journalists in Enugu that the bank had the mandate of providing agricultural credit and non-agricultural micro-credit with a view to curbing poverty.
He, however, said that the amount so far disbursed fell below the expected target for the region considering the abundant opportunities there.“Our bank and its stakeholders are making concerted efforts to curb all known challenges to agro-entrepreneurship to widen the space for more participation,” he said.
Mohammed pointed out that most of the credit facilities were directed at women whom he said, had suffered from neglect, chronic underinvestment and regional protectionism.
“We know that a lot of women in the rural areas are involved in agriculture but presently not being taken care of. They are poorly served by infrastructure, financial systems, scientific innovations or access to markets and the results are reflected in poor levels of productivity. Our intension is to make sure our activities extend to them,” he said.
He noted that with the effects of climate change and expected upsurge in the country’s population in the year 2050, “all hands must be on deck to help safeguard the future of people.”
He said the bank desired to partner with state governments in the zone with a view to exploiting the huge potentials in the region.Mohammed therefore, appealed to governors of the region to revitalise the moribund oil palm plantations and processing plants in the zone.
He said government concerns like the Ada Palm in Imo, Okomu Oil and the Imo Rubber and National Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) had a robust relationship with the bank. The Executive Director of the bank, Gabriel Okenwa commended the Federal Government’s efforts through the Ministry of Agriculture.