MD, BoA, Dr. Mohammed Kudu Santuraki
Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) has concluded arrangement to disburse about N5 billion agricultural loans to farmers across the country this year.
In a chat with journalists in Sokoto, Wednesday, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, BoA, Dr. Mohammed Kudu Santuraki, said the loans would be provided to small, medium and large-scale farmers in the country.
Santuraki explained that while micro-farmers would receive about N250, 000 each, middle scale farmers about N5 million, large scale farmers would be provided facilities above N5 million each.
According to him, the initiative was to support farmers as well as to promote agriculture and rural development.
Santuraki attributed the cause of unrest in the north to the neglect of agriculture by successive governments.
He pointed out that it was in view of the current situation in the region that the Federal Government decided to channel huge investment in agriculture in order to promote wealth creation and tackle poverty.
He decried the huge funds being expended by the country on food importation, stressing that the Federal Government was determined to bring an end to the ugly trend.
"We have become net importer of rice and wheat and that was not the case in the past. In fact, we are importing large volume of wheat for our bread. However, the Federal Government is now saying that we have to put a stop to that. Thus, we believe we can stop that because we have arable farmlands and water resources which can be utilised to grow crops that will meet the food requirement of Nigeria,” he said.
Santuraki stated that the management of the bank was in Sokoto to sign an agreement with the state government for a N1 billion agricultural scheme.
He said with the scheme, the state government would put in N500 million while the bank would also put in N500 million making the total N1 billion.
He revealed that the current capital of the bank now stood at about N30 billion, stressing that it did not rely on capital alone to lend to farmers but also had customers’ savings accounts.
Santuraki added that the bank had also released about N43 billion to finance all classes of farmers and other operators in the agriculture value chain over the last 10 years.
In a related development, indications emerged yesterday that as part of efforts to enhance cassava production, marketing and export, the BoA and the Nigerian Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) yesterday signed an agreement on cassava production.
The agreement signing ceremony was expected to hold at the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Abuja and expected to be presided over by the Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
President, NCGA, Mr. Segun Adewunmi, said that collaboration would involve the granting of agricultural credits for 60,000 hectares at N205, 000 maximum per hectare and agreed terms and conditions.