Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, and Union Bank Plc have pledged to disburse as much as N4.5 billion to the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) for farmers in Niger, Ekiti, and Benue states.
The funding will be used solely for the purpose of cultivating maize and soybeans in the above-mentioned states.
More Details: A breakdown of the funds shows that Stanbic IBTC Bank disbursed N2 billion, while the sum of N1.5 billion was disbursed by Sterling Bank Plc. Union Bank Plc also disbursed N1 billion.
The loan was disbursed after a two-day stakeholders’ meeting held at the headquarters of NIRSAL in Abuja, which was attended by key stakeholders in the maize and soybean value chains, banks/financial institutions, value chain support stakeholders, and other stakeholders.
Utilising the Fund: According to the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, the loan will be used to support 3,750 farmers across the three states.
He stated that 107.5 metric tonnes of seeds which is worth about N65.5 million, would be supplied by seed companies. Also, some 2,062 metric tonnes of fertilizer which is worth about N290 million, would be made available by the fertilizer companies. More so, 33,250 litres of crop protection products worth N54.6 million would all be committed into the project.
The NIRSAL boss further explained that 8,750 metric tonnes of maize with a market value of N744 million and 2,000 metric tonnes of soybean worth N208 million would be produced under this pilot phase.
More details: Abdulhameed said the NIRSAL team would be in touch with all key stakeholders to ensure requirements are duly captured and interests fairly represented in the agreements and contracts for implementation.
“We will also deploy other robust risk management instruments including the Area Yield Index Insurance to safeguard yields at harvest, our boots-on-ground project monitoring, reporting, and remediation Office personnel in Ekiti, Niger and Benue states and other risk management instruments to guarantee adequate returns on investment.”
What this means for the economy: Abdulhameed emphasized that with this level of financial commitment, each farmer is expected to generate revenue as much as N425,000 and N2.26 million under the loan scheme. He added that the scheme would help save the country about N1 billion through import substitution.