The Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank, Enugu (UPMFB) has disclosed that in the past three years, it has disbursed about N300 million to over 1000 micro, small and medium scale farmers in Enugu State, as credit facilities to encourage them to enhance their farm produce, make profit and uplift their living conditions.
A statement from the bank quoted the Head of Credit Desk at the bank, Mr. Charles Udeani, to have said the initiative in the area of agriculture was a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to encouragement and promotion of agriculture in the country, given the primary place of agriculture in the sustenance of human life.
The UPMFB Credit manager explained that having seen the federal government’s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as a veritable instrument for massive job creation with lots of chain values, the UPMFB queued into the two agricultural progammes as a vehicle to achieving her poverty eradication purpose because the programmes are in line with the bank’s anti poverty mission through micro financing, which is part of the economic evangelisation teachings of the Church.
The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) provides insurance guarantee cover (up to 75% of any outstanding balance upon default) in respect of loans granted to the agricultural sector by banks and also has a farmer-friendly scheme called “Interest Drawback Program” (IDP) of up to 40% interest refund upon liquidation of the facility, with the target beneficiaries of the fund as individual farmers, cooperative societies, and corporate bodies, while the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which has its cardinal object as provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to small holder farmers to boost production of commodities, stabilise inputs’ supply to agro processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food, and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities.
“The efforts of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank towards the promotion of agriculture earned her a big recognition from the CBN, as she won the 2016 edition of the best bank award of CBN among banks participating in the ACGSF in the southeast zone,” the statement added.