To enhance livestock business across the country, the federal government has floated N5 billion credit facility for livestock farmers across the country through the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).
Minister of Agriculture, and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this on Wednesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
Abubakar noted that the loan would enable livestock farmers to have access to funding at reasonable interest rates to expand their businesses and attract potential investors into the livestock value chain.
The Minister stressed that the present administration is irrevocably committed to reforming the livestock sector with notable programmes such as the National Livestock Transformation Plan, (NLTP) and Livestock Productivity Resilience and Support Plan (LPRESP), among others.
“Crop sub- sector has always got more attention because it comes with food security but nutrition security is the other nutrient that would complement the grains otherwise you will have a different kind of growth.
“The N5 billion in the Bank of Agriculture was part of recapitalisation that would be given out to livestock herders. The bank is being recapitalised and so more money will be coming to the bank,” Abubakar said.
He pointed out that the scheme would bring more stability in the development of the livestock sector, improve security as well as enhance harmonious co-existence between farmers and herders.
Alwan Ali Hassan, the Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, in his remarks noted that the bank has been recapitalised to the tune of N65billion, adding that the bank would receive about N250billion in the long run for its recapitalisation.
He said that one of the mandates of the bank is financing the agric value chain completely.
“The modality in giving out the loan is going to be exactly as enshrined in loan conditions.
“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 other financial institutions,” Hassan said.
He added, “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’’.
Shading more light on whether individual farmers, who are not registered members of associations could apply for the loan, the Managing Director answered in the affirmative, stating that
“In fact, we don’t intend to give loan to the association, we are giving their members. All that the association has to do is to introduce their members,’’ he said.
Reacting to the development, the National President, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Baba Usman Ngelzarma, lauded the federal government for the initiative stressing that it is an important intervention for the livestock value chain.