Nigeria Agricultural Transformation Agenda on course as FG Releases Forms for N12.3 Billion Cassava Loan
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has sent through the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), forms for distribution to farmers in the 36 states of the federation for them to benefit from the N12.3 billion loan meant to boost cassava production in the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the loan was recently signed between the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and the NCGA in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture with a mandate for the farmers to cultivate 60,000 hectares of cassava.
The commencement of the process for the disbursement of the loan was disclosed at the weekend in Akure, Ondo State by the National Chairman of the association, Mr. Segun Adewunmi, who during a meeting 2,000 forms had been allocated for each state.
The chairman, who stated that the forms were meant for peasant farmers that were registered members of the association, added that other categories of farmers who want to benefit would need to apply on another form that would be ready within one week.
Adewunmi stated further that none members of the association, who wish to benefit from the loan would need to deposit 20 percent equity loan volume required into his account in BoA.
To avoid improper utilisation of the loan, Adewunmi explained that the programme involved proper monitoring of the farmers by the association from the beginning of the loan to the sales of products.
He explained that the programme was designed in such a way that the inputs would be delivered to the farms in kind while they would only be given money to pay for labour.
“It is the duty of the association to ensure profitable sales of products of the farm, repayment of loan to the bank and delivery of profit into the account of the farmer,” he said.
While directing the state chairmen of the association to commence the sale of the forms to members, the chairman said advertisement would also be made on the media for the registration and how to obtain the forms for the loan.
He advised farmers to form themselves into cooperative societies that can own specialised farm equipment such as tractors, cassava planter, harvesters and others.
Adewunmi disclosed that the association had written letters to the state governments in the country, requesting for provision of enabling environment for the successful operation of the programme in their various states.