The Federal Government will spend over N17bn in this year’s dry season farming under its anchor borrower scheme.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Hameed, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the ongoing AgrikExpo and Conference, organised by the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG).
Hameed said in the past few weeks, NIRSAL had disbursed a total of ₦N2.3bn to 24,000 rice farmers in Kebbi and Adamawa states, adding that a large percentage of the money would be disbursed to the farmers nation-wide during the dry season.
“We have profiled, so far, about 53,000 farmers and in our dry season plans; we are going to vote over ₦N17bn for the scheme. Now the anchor borrower programme does not cover crops alone, it is supposed to cover all commercially viable agricultural crop commodities, livestock, fishery among others. Whatever makes commercial sense, the anchor borrower financing and private financing can support it,” he said.
Hameed further said that the first phase of the scheme involving about ₦N10bn would have impact on 200,000 lives, lead to cultivation of 12,000 hectares of land and increase national output by about 50,000 metric tonnes in the next few months.
He said NIRSAL is collaborating with banks to assist states in order to boost their agricultural output.
Hameed implored anyone with interest in agriculture to make a smart move and route it through NIRSAL who would be the necessary risk management for that person.
He, however, said the best way to bring in small scale farmers into the scheme is through aggregation.