Credit schemes: Stakeholders beg CBN, BOI to make women farmers beneficiaries

Stakeholders and non-state actors in the Agricultural sector has called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), BOA, BOI, credit administrator and the relevant MDAs, should invest and make budgetary provisions for wider indigenous public awareness on credit schemes, and training on accessing credits by smallholder women farmers.

The stakeholders lamented that there are poor level of awareness about the credit schemes and the high level of illiteracy among the smallholder farmers, limit their access to agricultural credit.

The stakeholders raised the concern at a 2-day stakeholders consultative meeting on the 2022 Agriculture Budget in Lagos organized by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of the ECOWAS commission.

The National President of Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), Mary Afan who read a joint communique at a virtual press conference on Tuesday called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) States ministries of agriculture, and Local government to play an active role in ensuring more public awareness on the various agricultural credit schemes in the country.

According to her, they should make provision to offer handholding technical assistant to smallholder farm cooperative groups to ensure proper documentation of applications, meeting loan criteria, make loan submissions, coordinating loan management, and overseeing repayment programs.

She further said the states and local government should better coordinate and play an interface role between the smallholder farmers and credit administrators.