The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has commended the federal government’s financing of rural farmers through the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN), as it had further boost the production of food.
This commendation was given by the Programme Country Officer, IFAD, Dr Ben Odoemana, during the 8th supervision mission of RUFIN in Abuja, while appraising achievements made by the programme at the rural areas, where the programme was being done.
Odoemana also expressed optimism that RUFIN would achieve its objectives based on what they had already impacted in the living standard of small-scale farmers.
“RUFIN is doing well; in some communities it has done so well and in some other communities there are rooms for improvement.
“Basically RUFIN is on ground, we have seen a lot of savings and loans groups that are mobilizing finance among themselves and keeping good records, helping one another and also leveraging finance from the banks.
“RUFIN is on ground and there is a lot of confidence that RUFIN would achieve its objectives.”
Odoemana said IFAD had identified financial gaps in rural areas where farmers suffer before assessing farm inputs and also described it as difficult for them to obtain credit from regular commercial banks as they lacked the requirements for the loan they intend to access.
He stated that RUFIN was established to fill the financial gap in the rural areas to help farmers access credit among themselves.
RUFIN is being implemented in 12 states across the six geo-political zones, with two from each zone.
The programme enjoys financial assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD.
The programme is going to be implemented for over a seven-year period and specifically targets marginalised groups such as women, young people and those with physical disabilities.
The objective of this programme is to strengthen micro finance institutions and establish linkages between them and formal financial institutions.
It lays the foundation for the long-term development of a sustainable rural financial system that would eventually operate throughout the country.
By reaching out to the poor rural people, the programme ensures that they gain access to financial services and can invest in improving productivity in agriculture and small businesses.