The news of a N2bn loan to a poultry section of a certain Shonga Farms Holding in Edu LG of Kwara State came as a pleasant one because it marks a right signal to all the Money Deposit Banks and other Financial institutions in the country that Kwara is indeed becoming a bankable State.
In the recent past, the KWSG had a herculean task of accessing a N1bn Agric loan for onward disbursement to willing farmers.
What many may or do not know about loans is that no matter who you are, banks will want to see the proper channel of payment and repayment, this is to be corroborated with a guarantee or collateral, and there had been a report of heavy default in repayment in Kwara State.
And these happened to be the season of needed fiscal prudence across the Nation, CBN stepped in with a fantastic scheme tagged *Anchor Borrower Programme*, a scheme that is an amalgamation of all existing Agricultural intervention programmes from 1977 to date!.
One of the benefits of having the Senate President from our dear State is the visitation of the CBN Governor, Emefiele that was brought to Kwara State by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and hosted by the Kwara State Governor, Dr. AbdulFatah Ahmed to showcase the state as a ready for operation destination for a massive inclusion of Kwara State in the #220bn fund earmarked for the scheme.
*The broad objective of the ABP is to create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilization of processors.*
_Other objectives include:_
· Increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector
· Reduce agricultural commodity importation and conserve external reserves
· Increase capacity utilization of agricultural firms
· Create new generation of farmers/entrepreneurs and employment
· Deepen the cashless policy and financial inclusion
· Reduce the level of poverty among smallholder farmers
· Assist rural smallholder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
The fact that Shonga Farm Holdings was the place of interest should not overshadow other Private organisation like Kam Industries Nigeria Limited, Lubcon Limited, Tranquil Mazab, Gbose Quarries Limited, Wahan Foods Limited, Foodpro Limited, Mount Olive Nigeria Limited, Biomedical Limited e.t.c., who had accessed CBN interventionist programmes in the past.
It is the turn of Agro-improvement in Kwara State and SFH has jumped to the top (it’s a Govt backed venture afterall), let us take an advantage of the opened opportunity availed us in Kwara and show what we are capable of.
The efforts of ABS and Maigida are yielding fruits, let us be a part of this good will of trust from CBN and show how well our farmers are indeed ready to go back to farm.
Gov. AbdulFatah Ahmed has said that he’s ready to do everything possible to change the fiscal landscape of Kwara, as a farmer, do your part.
Kwara is becoming bankable indeed.
Lawal Surajudeen Don-Koga Is A Kwara Based Young Entrepreneur