The Kwara State Government has confirmed the receipt of an agriculture loan of N1billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr Anu Ibiwoye, Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture and Rural Water Support Services, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin.
Ibiwoye said that the money would be released through the microfinance banks, adding that government would monitor the activities of farmers to ensure that the loans were judiciously expended.
“I wish to confirm that the 1bn agriculture loan just came in about a week ago. We are starting with our estate farms across the state and we also have plans for individual and farmer groups that will benefit from the loan. We have a structure on ground to hasten the process through automation, because we have software that can track each farmer’s account,’’ he said.
Ibiwoye said that the procedure of acquiring the loan was to open an account with the selected microfinance banks, which are Apeks and KCMB.
“A lot of farmers have registered without giving us their Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN). We cannot disburse the loan without the BVN, so we are going to screen out farmers without it. Basically in the template, we are proposing N129, 000 per hectare for soya beans, N203, 000 for maize and N212, 000 for rice. Over 29, 000 farmers have registered, while one thousand farmers will be captured in the first phase”, he said.
“We want to ensure that our people see agriculture as a business venture, so that the money is also paid back for other beneficiaries to access”.