The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has organised 851 maize, rice and cassava farmers in Ewekoro, Yewa North, and Ogun Waterside Local Government Areas of Ogun State into financeable geo-cooperatives for participation in the 2019 wet season farming under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
The move, according to NIRSAL, is part of government’s grand design to deepen mechanized farming by gradually shifting farmers away from subsistence agriculture being practiced in various parts of the country.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held in the premises of the Ogun State Agricultural Development Project Office at the weekend, the Head of NIRSAL’s Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Office (PMRO) in Ogun State, Mrs. Jumoke Ilo reminded stakeholders and other dignitaries at the event that the ABP remains an agricultural input loan scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in which smallholder farmers receive single-digit interest rate loans in the form of inputs and pay back with portions of their produce.
She added that as a Participating Financial Institution in the programme, NIRSAL administers the ABP on behalf of the apex bank.
Ilo assured that NIRSAL, through the ABP, remains committed to addressing the challenges of smallholder farmers in the state using its end-to-end approach to agricultural projects which spans the pre-upstream, upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the Agricultural value chain.
She added that through the ABP, NIRSAL has been addressing the problems of access to finance & markets, structuring, low technical know-how and other challenges facing smallholder farmers in the state.
She stated: “This was the reason NIRSAL has organised farmers into geo-cooperatives, provided them with finance components & training, and will further link them with off-takers.”