Food production: Cooperative to assist farmers with loans

The national president of Nigerian Farmers’ Cooperative Societies (NANFACOS), Mr. Nwogwugwu Uzoma, has promised to assist farmers in the country in accessing loans.

Uzoma said the loan would be used to purchase agricultural inputs, seedlings, and other materials to boost food production.

He gave the pledge on Friday at a press conference in Abuja to address the challenges of farmers in accessing loans or grants to aid their productivity.

“It is a known fact that agricultural funding and materials from government most times do not get to the targeted farmers, it is been taken by portfolio farmers,” he said.

Uzoma, however, called on the federal government to support the group to gain access to credit facilities, land, and vehicles, saying these would also assist the government in stimulating the gains of agriculture in the country.

Uzoma urged the government to persuade the state governments to make at least 1,000 hectares of land available for agricultural activities in every state of the Federation.

The president said NANFACOS would create a difference between cooperative farmers and ordinary farmers in Nigeria, as well as have good book-keeping programme to assist the farmers in business.

According to him, the cooperative was made up of 127, 000 registered farmers with a conglomerate of over 68 million individuals and practising cooperative farmers across the country.

Uzoma said the cooperative had been able to visit funding agencies like ministries, parastatal, banks, and non-governmental organisations to negotiate for the funding of agribusiness.

“Those visited include Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministries of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Central Bank of Nigeria. Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Nigeria Incentive-Based, Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, and Bank of Agriculture.”

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