The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has said the institution will disburse N7 billion to support dry season farming.
NIRSAL Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Aliyu Hameed, disclosed this Monday in Abuja stressing that the intervention became imperative to support rural farmers and increase credit access for agricultural productivity.
He spoke at the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) 2017 Conference and Agriculture Expo. It was themed Harnessing Nigeria’s Agricultural Potential for Food Security, Development, Nutrition and Wealth Creation.
Hammed said the institution, which is solely owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was setup to ease risk of credit lending to farmers, adding that despite the agricultural potentials in the country, capital was a major challenge.
He explained that the institution has facilitated the disbursement of about N66.36 billion since 2013 when it started operation.
He said about 53,319 farmers would benefit from the scheme.
“In the last three and half years up to the moment, cumulatively, NIRSAL has issued 634 Credit Risk Guarantees (CRG) with a total face value of N66.36 billion. We have also provided Interest Drawback (Interest rebate to borrowers) worth N940.98 million.
“In August, 2017 as a Participating Financial Institution under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP) we disbursed over N2.63 billion to 24,732 rice farmers for the 2017 wet season. We have profiled over 53,319 farmers and voted about N17.09 billion for the scheme across the country,” Hameed said.
In his remarks, President of the NABG, Alhaji Sani Dangote described the conference as opportunity to discuss issues affecting the sector and provide workable solutions, as well as develop new innovations that could boost agricultural productivity.
He urged the stakeholders to put a stop to being over-dependent on the Federal Government, stressing that the private sector remains vital to repositioning the sector while federal government is expected to create workable environment.
“The government should listen to us and should come up with policies that will develop the sector. We should be able to influence their ideas to see the reality because we are the actual participants. We are the ones to get it done, government is just the facilitator.”
He appealed to stakeholders to develop innovative ideas that would make agriculture interesting to youths.
Describing 70 per cent of the population as youths, Dangote emphasized need to engage them in agro-allied activities. He agriculture should be treated as a serious business rather than a development programme.