ABP: 475 FEMALE CASSAVA FARMERS IN UYO BENEFIT FROM NIRSAL’s EMPOWERMENT SCHEME
Supports 2,872 Farmers in South-South Region
The principles of on which the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) operates, includes an all-inclusive growth, and in adherence to this, NIRSAL Plc is empowering 475 female farmers in Uyo for cassava production in the 2020 wet season farming.
NIRSAL Plc structured the farmers into a group which was fittingly named the Uyo Women Agro Geo-Cooperative in accordance to its Agro Geo-Cooperative® (AGC) model. Afterwards, the 475 female farmers were trained on Good Agronomic Practices and received numerous inputs for their use. Throughout the planting season, in order to enhance yields & profits eliminate the tedium of farming with crude implements, all 478 hectares of land will be mechanized.
In addition, the members of the Uyo Women AGC are financed through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) for which NIRSAL Plc is playing a critical role as a Participating Financial Institution (PFI) to ensure that the goal of the CBN and the Federal Government to enhance developmental and economic diversification, are met.
To kick start activities, NIRSAL Plc organized an event held at Anang People Primary School, Obio Ndot, Oruk Anam LGA of Akwa Ibom State, during which they flagged-off the distribution of inputs to the farmers. At the event, Mrs. Theresa Thompson Akpan, the President of the Uyo Women AGC, described the CBN’s support through NIRSAL as a step in the right direction of enhancing cassava production in the state.
She also encouraged the Uyo Women AGC members to take advantage of NIRSAL Plc’s approach of farming as it is a business opportunity that would contribute to move them from peasant farming to sustainable agribusiness. She then expressed appreciation towards NIRSAL Plc for harnessing the female farmers’ potential and for its continuous support of agribusiness in Akwa Ibom State.
Helen Akula, the Head of NIRSAL Plc’s Akwa Ibom State Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remediation Office (PMRO), speaking on behalf of Aliyu Abdulhameed, NIRSAL Pls’s Managing Director/CEO, highlighted that NIRSAL Plc’s support of Uyo Women AGC will not only empower the 475 farmers of the AGC but will create job opportunities for many families in the community and in effect, achieve NIRSAL Plc’s mission of forming partnerships between finance and agriculture while simultaneously creating jobs, achieving food security, and spurring economic growth.
He then added that through the ABP, the farmers will be given the opportunity of commercial financing, hence, they have their way to a better-quality life paved for them. He however gave a reminder stating; “The input you received today is not a grant but a loan that must be paid back for other farmers to also benefit from. I have faith in you all that together as a team every kobo will be repaid with ample profit left in the bank for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour.”
Desmond Ushe, the Acting Head of the CBN’s Akwa Ibom State Development Finance Office, also present at the event, commented that with the integration of NIRSAL’s AGC concept, risks, especially financial, will be significantly reduced and the participation of farmers in the ABP would be boosted. He also sought for sincerity and commitment on behalf of the farmers to support that of Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, whom he said has the utmost passion for the ABP and agricultural-economic growth through agriculture.
NIRSAL Plc’s regional and nationwide support for farmers under the ABP is far-reaching as a total of 2,872 rice, maize and cassava farmers belonging to Uyo Women AGC, Pemo Anegbette AGC, Upalibuisi AGC, Southern Basin AGC, Integrated AGC, Ijeoma Aibiokula AGC, Green Money Initiative AGC and God’s Own AGC are receiving NIRSAL’s support in the South-South states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta while a total of 44,670 farmers cultivating on 68,771 hectares of land are benefiting in all 36 states in Nigeria.
In Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi states and the FCT, rice, maize, cassava, sesame and soybean farmers were also recently supported for an increase in yields and improvement in livelihoods following NIRSAL Plc’s assistance for their 2020 wet season farming activities also under the ABP.