8million farmers to benefit from 16,000 geo-clusters scheme- NIRSAL

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The Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says eight million farmers will benefit from its 16,000 Geo-Clusters Scheme across the country.

Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director of NIRSAL made this known in his presentation at the 61st session of Greeners Hub B2B in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Sunday.

The NIRSAL has mandate to redefine, measure, price and share agribusiness related credit risk and fix broken agricultural value chains.

Other mandates are to build long term capacity and stimulate the flow of finance and investment into the agricultural value chains.

Represented by Mr Opeoluwa Ogundipe, a Senior Manager, Agricultural value chain Finance and investment services in the organization, Abdulhameed said the programme would bring farmers from the same ecological zones together.

He explained that the scheme, incorporating farmers together as cooperatives, would cultivate valuable and various crops in four million hectares of land:

“Nigeria is categorized into agro ecological zones where each zone will be identified with peculiar crops that grow in that particular area.

“We are going a step forward to ensure farmers in the same geological zones come together and work together for the benefit of achieving mechanization in farming.

“Industrial commodities like maize, soya, wheat, cassava and cotton would be cultivated as well as export crops such as Hibiscus, sesame, ginger and shea butter.

“The scheme would also ensure planting of consumer commodities like rice, potatoes, beans, fruits, vegetables and aquaculture as well as beef, dairy, hides and skin and poultry.

“Sugarcane and cashew recently were added to the crops in the scheme.”

Abdulhameed disclosed that NIRSAL’s intervention had so far given direct jobs to about 400,000 Nigerians.

Dr Popoola Mustapha, the Convener of Greeners B2B Nigeria said the initiative which started in 2015 was to promote businesses across the country.

Mustapha said the forum, which had made people’s businesses to grow from zero to certain appreciable point, was in line with evolution of new order in terms of smartness and ethics.

The session usually gives opportunity for old owners of businesses to do a peer review.

He added that those whose businesses were between zero to four years would also have avenues to showcase theirs with a view to giving them advice, where necessary.

Amaka E. Nliam

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