James Emejo in Abuja
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, has said the agency facilitated over $373 million as loans from commercial banks to farmers across the various agricultural value chain in the country.
He said by its support and through the Credit Risk Guarantee, NIRSAL had been able to facilitate about N85.5 billion as at the third quarter of the year.
He added that its interventions generated over 2.17 million jobs for Nigerians.
NIRSAL was incorporation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2013- and is a $500 million Non-Bank financial institution specifically designed to redefine, measure, re-price and share agribusiness-related credit risk.
Abdulhameed said the total amount leveraged by NIRSAL Credit Risk Guarantees and other Agricultural Risk Management Tools & Products included the sum of N43.8 billion in agricultural inputs; N1.7 billion on mechanisation; N19 billion on primary production as well as N20.9 billion on processing.
He said: “This amount was not facilitated for the upstream (primary production/farming segment alone- largely at the level of the smallholder farmers- but across all four segments of the agricultural value chain.”
According to him: “A total of N45.6 billion in the pre-upstream segment of the agricultural value chain primarily to mechanisation and agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, seeds and agrochemicals required before primary production.
“Over N19 billion into the upstream which is mainly the primary production of maize, cassava, soybeans, rice, cotton, poultry among other commodities. N20.9 billion midstream segment of the agricultural value chain used predominantly in the processing of cassava chips, rice milling, cotton, oil palm, and cocoa.”
The MD further explained that a total of 24,666 farmers cultivating 20,062 hectares had also benefited from a new insurance initiative by NIRSAL in partnership with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC).
He said the NIRSAL Area Yield Insurance Index product had been deployed to protect a total harvest value of N4.77 billion, adding that “Insured farmers who suffered low area yields during the 2017 Wet Season have received appropriate compensation.”
According to him: “NIRSAL’s goal is to expand insurance uptake by primary producers from 0.5 million to 3.8 million by 2026 and continually develop insurance products that will give financial institutions and agricultural value chain players the comfort they need to lend to the agricultural sector while building the capacities of underwriters.”