Yobe State, World Bank to disburse loan to farmers – Buni

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The Yobe state government says it has initiated a N325 million non-interest revolving fund to enhance farmer access to agricultural financing and encourage productivity.

The facility is designed to support selected farmer groups under the World Bank’s Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACRESAL) project.

Gov. Mai Mala Buni stated this at the inauguration of the project on Tuesday in Damaturu.

Buni said the ACReSAL project aimed to restore degraded lands and reduce poverty in the state.

Represented by his deputy, Alhaji Idi Gubana, the governor said the World Bank would disbursed 250,000 dollars equivalent to N325 million (at the prevailing exchange rate of N1,300 per dollar), through the ACReSAL project in the state.

He said the loan would be disbursed through a Community Revolving Fund, to the 10 qualified pilot communities in two micro watersheds catchment areas of Damaturu and Nguru.

Buni said that each of the benefiting community would receive 25,000 dollars equivalent to N32.5 million, to support agri businesses and improve livelihoods.

The facility, he said, is designed to revolve and grow over time, allowing other farmers to benefit from prompt repayment.

He commended the ACReSAL task team, Federal Project Management Unit, and other stakeholders towards the successful implementation of the project.

Earlier, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed, the ACReSAL Project Coordinator, said the Community Revolving Fund (CRF) Intervention scheme is not a grant.

According to him, it is an investment fund to support community and farmer groups to improve climate smart rainfed agricultural practices, particularly relating to crop value chains.

He advised the beneficiaries to keep the loan in circulation within their communities through prompt repayment to allow other farmers to benefit.

“If you do not repay your initial loan, you will not be able to access the second tranch of the facility,” he said.

The coordinator said that farmers are expected to be residents of the participating community, and also a registered member of the group for at least one year, to enable them to access the facility.

“The groups should have 10 to 25 members, it should be engaged or willing to engage in climate smart agriculture or agro enterprise activities among other conditions”.

NAN / Foluke Ibitomi

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