The Kaduna State Government has commenced disbursement of loans to farmers in the state under a partnership with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) with a total sum of N1 billion ready for access by farmers.
Speaking at the flag-off of the distribution of cheques to benefiting farmer cooperative groups and individual farmers Wednesday, the State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero said the scheme is aimed at providing finance to farmers in a bid to increase performance in the sector.
He said “The Agricultural loan scheme has a convenient means of raising funds to finance Agriculture and Agro allied businesses in view of the attractive interest rate chargeable which is only 5%, very short period of loan processing and disbursement.”
The Governor said the Technical Committee established by the State Ministry of Agriculture had screened six (6) Cooperative Associations and nine (9) individual farmers to benefit from the first phase of the scheme.
“The beneficiaries have been drawn on equal basis from the three senatorial zones of the State. Each Cooperative Association has an average of ten (10) farmers and will receive Agricultural Loan ranging from N2.5million and above. On the other hand, each individual beneficiary will receive the sum of N250,000.00.
“The Bank of Agriculture will continue to disburse the facility to other beneficiary Cooperative Associations and individual farmers. I therefore urge farmers that have not indicated interest to hasten to take advantage of the opportunity being provided by this scheme, Yero said.
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.
“Consequently, as part of measures to raise the production capacity of our farmers, the State Government has continued to provide subsidized farm inputs such as seeds, agrochemicals, farm machinery etc to our farmers. This is in addition to the procurement and distribution of 65,000MT of assorted fertilizers annually.”
Gov Yero said in the last two years of his administration, a total of 1,028,799 farmers have benefited from assorted subsidized and free fertilizers, improved seeds, fish fingerlings and drugs.