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Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

Micro finance: AEA flags off sensitization campaign for farmers

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By Stanley Onyekwere

The Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), of The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced sensitization of small scale farmers in the territory on how to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria fund.

The entrepreneurship campaign, which took place recently at the Head office of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), various speakers at the event provided conditions for accessing the CBN Small and Medium Scale funds made available by the Federal Government to assist small scale farmers.

Representative of Association of Non-bank Micro-finance Institutions, Emmanuel Atama used the occasion to inform the farmers that one of the major pre-requisites for having a share of the N2 billion which is the amount available to the FCT, is the formation of Co-oporative Societies in line with the chain of their farming businesses, warning that individual application will not be honored.

He told the many farmers at the event that government was no longer going to give loan facilities to individuals, noting that the purposes for which the financial assistance were given in the past has been defeated.

“The only way government could reach those at the grassroots and drop money for them to pick was through Co-oporatives because most of the male petty farmers collected loans and married more wives instead of investing the funds into mores useful ventures,” he noted.

Atama disclosed that the Cooperatives were expected to pay back only three percent of the loan per annum and were allowed to include not more than nine non-cooperative members.

AEA Training Officer, Hajiya Rafisa Waziri, while answering questions from journalists at the occasion said that the idea of the campaign was to train the residents, especially farmers on entrepreneurship skills.

She added that the sensitization campaign is aimed at making the farmers to be aware of the available markets so that they could maximize profit.

On how the financial support would be given to the farmers, Waziri revealed that the AEA would only loan to them having evaluated their various business plans which must not necessarily be elaborate but focused on achieving the desire result.

A Credit Risk Manager with the AEA, Aisha Dasuki, noted that the agency had so far sensitized and mobilized over 500 participants not only present at the occasion to form relevant Cooperatve Societies and reap the accruing benefits.

Peoples Daily gathered that the N200 billion SMEs funds was to be disbursed to all the States of the Federation, and that the FCT has already accessed its own share of N2 billion in order to improve the lives of the peasant farmers and petty traders.


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