ABUJA  – The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), yesterday disclosed that from its inception, that over N105 billion has been facilitated across the pre-upstream, upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria from both public and private sources of finance. 

NIRSAL in a statement made available to DAILY INDEPENDENT, disclosed that it had a profound positive socio-economic consequence, resulting in the creation of over 400,000 jobs and impacting two million lives positively. 

NIRSAL also explained that in the forefront of its finance facilitation drive is the NIRSAL Agro Geo-Cooperative formation process through which NIRSAL Plc is structuring farmers by creating 16,000 Agro Geo-Cooperatives made up of 8 million farmers cultivating 4 million hectares of farmland. 

The statement said till date, over 452 Agro Geo-Cooperatives covering over 270,000 hectares of land have benefitted from the process through the Anchor Borrowers Programme(ABP). 

NIRSAL expressed optimism that rice, maize, cassava, sesame and soybean farmers in Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi and Benue Sates as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, would have an increase in yields and improvement in livelihoods following the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System’s (NIRSAL Plc) support for their 2020 wet season farming activities under the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). 

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“The development comes following NIRSAL Plc’s structuring of farmers in the FCT into 16 established Agro Geo-Cooperatives, 12 of which are included in the ABP for wet season 2020. 

“As more AGCs develop around the territory and beyond, NIRSAL continues to provide trainings on bookkeeping and modern farming practices, mechanisation for pre-planting, planting and harvesting activities and distribution of improved, high-yielding seed varieties. 

“NIRSAL Plc has also linked the 926 FCT farmers cultivating 1,140 hectares of land with guaranteed off-take markets thereby protecting them from price fluctuations and the exploitative tendencies of some middlemen. 

“Other forms of support include the provision of fertilizer, crop protection products and round-the-clock technology-driven project monitoring services. 

Symbolic of input distributions that occurred across the North-Central Region of Nigeria, some farmers in Dobi area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recently received further support for their on-going farming activities from NIRSAL.

Source: independent.ng