By Palma Ileye
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has revealed that the Federal Government had provided N5Billion Loan Facility to Bank of Agriculture, BoA, for livestock farmers across the country adding that the Loan Facility would ensure more access at reasonable interest rates for farmers to expand their business and attract potential Investors into the Livestock Value Chain.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Abuja, yesterday, Abubakar said that the Present Administration was committed to reforming the livestock Sector with notable programmes like the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP and Livestock Productivity Resilience and Support Plan, LPRESP, among others.
He pointed out that the crop sub sector has always gotten more attention because it comes with food security but nutrition security was the other nutrient that would complement the grains otherwise you will have a different kind of growth.
The Minister revealed that “the N5 billion in the Bank of Agriculture was part of recapitalization that would be given out to livestock herders. The bank is being recapitalized and so more money will be coming to the bank.”
He noted that the scheme would bring more stability to develop the livestock sector, improve security and harmonious existence between farmers and herders.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, BoA, Alwan Ali Hassan, explained that, “The Federal Government has recapitalized the Bank of Agriculture, we have received some funds and one of the mandates of the bank is financing the agric value chain completely.”
Alhaji Hassan pointed out that the modality in giving out the loan was going to be exactly as enshrined in loan conditions, saying, “We have set rules for giving out loans which is governed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, regulations and also regulated by the bank and financial institutions body.”
He added that, “For interest rate, depending on which value chain you are taking. 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.”
On whether individuals farmers, who were not registered members of associations could apply for the loan, the Managing Director answered in the affirmative stating: “In fact, we do not intend to give loan 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, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Baba Usman Ngelzarma lauded Federal Government for the loan facility as an important intervention for the livestock Value Chain.