In support of the Federal Government’s efforts at restoring socio-economic stability in Borno State in particular, and the North East, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), as a Participating Financial Institution under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower Programme, is supporting 2020 wet season farming of 2,987 maize farmers with essential supplies, structuring, trainings and supervision. In the ongoing NIRSAL Agro Geo-Cooperative (AGC) formation exercise, the farmers were structured into a group named the Maize Dealers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MDMAN) Farmers AGC and linked with financing under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
NIRSAL’s AGCs present viable, safe and controlled investment environments for investor funds, whilst equipping smallholder farmers with incentives to produce and sell more through comprehensive farm mechanization and the crowding of other value givers and takers in one project. After the tedious operations of mapping and delineating individual farmer plots, the now structured farmers were supplied with 59.74 metric tons of certified maize seeds and 896 metric tons of fertilizer. In addition, the farmers were also supplied with 23,896 litres of crop protection products with one knapsack sprayer per hectare for their application.In the North-east alone, a total of 19,943 farmers belonging to 70 AGCs, cultivating rice, maize and soybean on 29,919 hectares of farmland spanning Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe states have got access to 748 metric tons of improved seed varieties, 8,974 metric tons of fertilizer and 239,352 litres of crop protection chemicals, in addition to mechanization services. NIRSAL Plc’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Aliyu Abdulhameed, explained at the Emir of Biu’s Palace, Borno State, the rationale behind the choice of the state for the event. He said: “We could have gone to any one of 29 states across the country where we are supporting farmers to have this event; however, we chose Borno, to help increase the confidence level of citizens as they attempt to resettle themselves into their communities and leverage on agriculture to improve their livelihoods,” said Abdulhameed.