NIRSAL Offers N1.83bn Loans To Support 24,732 Kebbi Rice Growers

NIRSAL Offers N1.83bn Loans To Support 24,732 Kebbi Rice Growers

The Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), on Thursday said it has started a nationwide rice grower support programme with the offer of N1.83bn loans to 24,732 rice farmers in Kebbi State for the current planting season.
The move, the agency noted in a statement by Innocent Azebeokhai, Head, Corporate Communications, is line with its focus on supporting government’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and end importation of rice, to produce a significant 75% increase in rice production from the current yield average of four, to seven metric tons per hectare.
The present disbursement is under the restructured and reviewed platform of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) where supervision of Loan is monitored, with the supply of improved seeds and technical support for capacity building.
The statement quoted Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed as saying: “The two-pronged strategy that underpins the scheme is meant to ensure that farmers do not only get access to finance but are also supported to get the best possible yields from their efforts”.
Beneficiaries of the scheme had received a comprehensive training on modern rice farming techniques last week by NIRSAL in collaboration with USAID Markets II, Beresh Consulting Services, Pula Advisory services and the Kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture.
To eliminate instances of loan diversion which has plagued other interventions, the loans under the program are structured to be largely in the form of physical farm inputs which includes improved rice seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides etc. The farmers will only be given a small part of the loan money for operational purposes.
The initiative which is centred on the priority placed on agriculture by the Buhari administration would help to create wealth for the farmers, promote inclusive economic growth and boost financial inclusion for small holder farmers.
The nationwide rice grower support program is being financed with funds provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) under the Anchor Borrower’s Program (ABP).
NIRSAL, a wholly owned agency of the CBN, was recently appointed as the implementation partner for the Anchor Borrower Program (ABP) because of its institutional capacity to manage risks by ensuring close monitoring and supervision of beneficiary projects across the country.
A key part of the program is the provision of close technical support in the form of training of beneficiary farmers on best farming techniques to increase the chances of success. This would be provided by NIRSAL’s Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Offices (PMROs) which are located in all states of the federation including the capital, Abuja.