….Cassava growers want sector funded through capital market

Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) has called on the Federal Government to support the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to take money from the capital market to finance agriculture.

The National President of the association, Pastor SegunAdewumi stated this at the weekend during the commissioning of the association’s office and seven utility vehicles in Abuja. Adding that the money should be guaranteed by the government assuring that if the cassava growers are involved in the disbursement of the loan, there would be almost 100% recovery of the loan.

Adewumi said: “We shall set up a tripartite arrangement here the bank finances farmers and off-takers pay for the products directly to the bank. The profit of the farmers is worked out and paid to him. Choice of repayment is no longer that of the farmer, the beneficiaries will sign agreement that if he dies or neglects the farm, NCGA that guaranteed the loan will take over the farm.”

He pointed out that the state’s intervention in agric programme should shift from subsidies for fertilizer, herbicides and other inputs to provision of finance facilities,saying fund used for subsidy can be used to mitigate interest on agricultural loan that is taken from the capital market by the BOA and drag it down to 5%.

According to him, the establishment of Cassava Development Corporation holds the key to sustainable commercial production and processing of cassava in the country as this will trigger cassava industrial revolution that will bring more revenue to Nigeria.

On the membership of the association, he said its members has risen from 41 to 700,000 within two years even as it targets five million members.
Commissioning the properties, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr AkinwumiAdesina said over 300 agricultural equipment centre will come into operation soon, urging Nigerians to patronise the cassava bread being produced as that will ensure that farmers in Nigeria stay in business.

“When we want the president to create jobs, we have to help him to create them by stopping importation of agricultural products as that makes the farmers poorer. That is why the president promised to ensure that whatever we produce in Nigeria is process and sold in Nigeria.

“This cassava bread is fantastic, its being eaten by Presidents, Ambassadors that visits Nigeria, Nollywood actors and every one of them said it is fantastic and when Nigerians patronise cassava bread they are creating jobs in Nigeria.

“I know that there are some that don’t want it to work, when I pick up the papers and see their words, they are cabals, they are happy importing wheat, they want us to continue to import wheat and create unemployment and insecurity, but i can guarantee you that under this president they would not succeed,” he said.

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