Public Servants have been urged to go into farming in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy.
The principal manager, Development Finance Office, Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Port Harcourt Branch, Mrs Augustine Osuya, made the call during a sensitization outreach, organized for the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Port Harcourt recently..
She explained that there was need for Nigerians to be educated on the importance of agriculture as the farming season sets in.
According to her, in the face of the prevailing recession, agriculture has the capacity to boost the economy if Nigerians take advantage of various schemes that have been mapped out by the government.
“If we are producing fish or poultry, we will no longer import fish and chicken that is eating into our Forex”, she said.
The principal manager further urged public servants to key into the interest draw-back programme at the bank and get loans that would assist them into setting up farms.
“The loan and the interest is not a problem because the CBN has cushioned the effect of that interest, so as a farmer you borrow from the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGF),” she said.
She explained that by the time the borrower liquidates the loan, the CBN would be given a rebate.
The organizers of the outreach and the Rivers State commandant of the NSCDC, Mr Mohammed Haruna, stated that the programme was organized to encourage officers of the Corps to go into farming.
“One of the main reasons why we organized this programme has to do with the Federal Government’s policy of diversification from mono-economy to diverse economy.
“Everybody is talking about agriculture in order to provide food for all and increase foreign exchange” he said.
Haruna promised that the command was ready to assist any office that indicates interest to secure farmland to ease off initial challenges.
Loans acquired through the drawback programme enjoy interest rebate, where 40 per cent of the interest on the facility is paid back by the CBN to the borrower.