Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has donated N10 million to Plateau state Fadama III Farmers to aid them in establishing a Fadama micro-finance bank.
The bank is a brain child of the Fadama III farmers who contributed five percent of their savings to set it up, to enable them to get a one digit interest loan to finance the farming business.
Adesina made the donation on behalf of the ministry yesterday in Jos during a state visit to assess agriculture facilities in Plateau.
The minister lauded the initiative by the farmers, comprising 75 per cent women, and assured them of the federal government’s support.
He said: “You have all made savings of about N60 million to be able to get your bank all across the various areas that you are, let me say that from my ministry, we will contribute N10 million.
“If you look at the repayment rate of loans, 98 per cent of women pay back the loan facilities they get and therefore women are actually the people you should be banking in because they pay back. We are going to work actively with you to help in this finance.”
The minister said there was no reason 30 per cent of loans should not go to women because more of them were into farming.
According to him, investing in women secures the life of a household and the destiny of a country and, therefore, more support should be given to boost their farming activities.
Earlier, the Plateau state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Stephen Barko, and officials of Agricultural Services Training and Centre (ASTC) conducted the minister to inspect facilities at ASTC Kassa/Vom.
Barko said the Kassa ASTC was one of the three centres established in collaboration with an Israeli company to boost agriculture in the state.
He added that ASTCs rendered variety of services to farmers ranging from provision of tractors to marketing of finished products. (NAN)