NIRSAL disburses fresh N2.63bn to 24,732 rice farmers


The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Thursday said it had successfully disbursed N2.63bn to 24,732 rice farmers for the 2017 planting season.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Nigeria Agribusiness Group Conference.

He spoke on the theme “Harnessing agricultural potential for food security, youth development, nutrition and wealth creation.”

NIRSAL was set up to catalyse a national agricultural revolution by encouraging investment by banks and the entire financial sector into the agricultural sector.

Abdulhameed said the disbursement of the funds to the rice farmers was in continuation of its mandate to facilitate the flow of finance to the agriculture sector.

This, it said, would help to achieve the objectives of the Economy Recovery Growth Plan of the Federal Government to diversify the economy, attain self-sufficiency in food production and entrench inclusive economic growth.

He stated that the disbursement was part of a N17bn NIRSAL nationwide support programme for rice growers.

This, he added, was being implemented under the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

He also revealed at the event that more banks had expressed strong interest in collaborating with NIRSAL for on-balance sheet lending following the N10bn NIRSAL/Stanbic-IBTC two-part agricultural scheme announced last week.

Abdulhameed explained that NIRSAL was deploying a two-pronged strategy to ensure farmers did not only get access to finance but were also supported to get the best yields from their efforts.

This, he noted, would enable the farmers to pay back their loans and still make good profit.

Source: Punch

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