President Buhari Okays N5bn Loan Facility for Livestock Farmers

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The outgoing President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of N5 billion as loans to livestock farmers.

The approved fund which has been made available to the Bank of Agriculture, (BoA), would be accessed at reasonable interest rates for farmers, across the 36 states of the federation, in a bid to expand their business and attract potential Investors into the Livestock Value Chain.

This was made known by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mohammad Abubakar during a media briefing at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Abuja on Wednesday.

Abubakar revealed that, unlike the livestock sub-sector, the crop sub-sector of the economy has always been getting attention because it comes with food security.

Report gathered that the crop production sector contributed 83.66 per cent of the total amount generated in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Agric sector with the highest government investment.

Confirming the loan, Abubakar said “The crop sub-sector has always gotten more attention because it comes with food security but nutrition security is the other nutrient that would complement the grains otherwise you will have a different kind of growth.

“To this effect, the Federal Government has provided N5 billion Loan Facility in the BoA as part of recapitalization that would be given out to livestock herders.”

The Agric minister pointed out that the bank is being recapitalized and so in the nearest future, more funds will be coming to the bank to facilitate growth for farmers across all sectors.

“The bank is being recapitalized and so more money will be coming to the bank” he added.

He also noted that the scheme would bring more stability to develop the livestock sector, improves security, and harmonize the existence between farmers and herders.

Also at the briefing, the Managing Director, BoA, Alwan Hassan, explained that the bank has been mandated to finance the agric value chain completely from the funds received through the recapitalization by the federal government.

Hassan pointed out that interest rate is dependent on the value chain, and the modality in giving out the loan is going to be exactly as enshrined in loan conditions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said “We have set rules for giving out loans and it’s governed by the CBN regulations and regulated by the bank and financial institutions body.

“Also, for interest rate, our rates start from nine per cent up to 15 per cent depending on which value chain you are taking. That means it depends on the risk factor of the business you are going into.’’

Hassan also noted that the N5 bn loan will not be restricted to registered members of the livestock association.

The BoA MD revealed, “In fact, we do not intend to give loans to the association, we are giving their members. All that the association has to do is to introduce their members.”

Reacting to this development, the National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, (MACBAN), Usman Ngelzarma lauded the Federal Government for the loan facility, stating that this is an important intervention for the livestock Value Chain.

Agro Nigeria / Foluke Ibitomi

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