The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has disbursed N1 billion interest-free loans to 517 farmers associations, under the state’s Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme, CACS.
About 4,000 farmers across the state benefitted from the disbursement.
Mr. Ganduje, who launched the scheme on Tuesday at the Government House Kano, said the fund was secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for promoting commercial agricultural enterprises.
The governor said the loan, which would be disbursed to small and medium scale farmers groups, is part of efforts by his administration to diversify agriculture, reduce poverty, create more jobs and enhance food security.
“Agricultural commodities included in the value added chain to be covered by the loan are dairy production, fishery, cotton, maize, wheat and rice”, he said.
He also said that in order to actualize the initiative and fast track development of agricultural sector of the economy, “the need arose to reduce the credit on agricultural production to enable farmers benefit from the potential of the sector such as to increase output, generate employment and diversify the revenue base of the state”.
Describing agriculture as the way out of the current economic recession, Mr. Ganduje said a workshop would also be organized to train beneficiaries of the scheme on efficient management of the funds.
Consequently, the governor urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the loans, warning that a special mobile court would be constituted to prosecute any beneficiary who defaults in re-paying the loans at the end of its tenor.
The representative of the CBN at the occasion, Abubakar AbdulKadir, who made a presentation titled “CACS Fund: Accessibility, Distribution and Recovery”, explained that the loans were repayable in two years, to enable as many farmers as possible benefit.
On her part, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Zubaida Abubakar, who presented a paper on “How to Run a Successful Agricultural Enterprise”, was of the opinion that farmers should imbibe the attitude of bookkeeping, sourcing raw materials at cheaper price and maximizing time of production to ensure accountability.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Sani Yadakwari, a cattle breeder, whose association received N5 million assured that they would use the loan prudently.