The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has secured a N3.5 billion loan commitment to boost maize and soybean production in the 2019 wet season.
The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, who gave the information in Abuja stated that the loan would be disbursed to 3,750 farmers in three pilot states under the M2M project.
The M2M project is an initiative of NIRSAL to support maize and soybean farmers with fertilisers and seeds in Benue, Niger and Ekiti states.
According to Abulhameed, NIRSAL will be using these three states as its pilot scheme by providing the necessary support to smallholders maize and soybean farmers with quality inputs to increase their yields.
The NIRSAL boss added that 33,250 litres of “crop protection products” worth N54.6 million have be committed to the project.
He said 8,750 metric tonnes of maize worth N744 million and 2,000 metric tonnes of soybean worth N208 million are expected to be produced and off taken under the pilot phase.
Abdulhameed said that the downstream actors present had committed to off-take the maize and soybean to be produced. This, he explained, would generate an estimated revenue of N425,000 and N2260,000 for maize and soybean respectively.
He added that the M2M project would save the country about N1 billion via import substitution, adding that it would also create jobs and income opportunities to players along the two value chains.
Abdulhameed said that NIRSAL would not relent in its effort to ensure that standard fertilisers and improved seeds were supplied to farmers under this project to boost productivity.
Mr. Tunde Faturoti, Managing Director, Agriseed Co Nigeria Limited, assured Nigerians that the seeds to be supplied under the M2M project were not Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) but hybrid.
Mrs. Tope Samuel-Odu, Regional Agribusiness Manager, Union Bank, quoted the NIRSAL MD as saying that, all structure would put put in place to ensure a win win situation at the end of the day.
On his part, Mr Richard Olafare, the President, Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) said that N65 million worth of seed to be committed to this project is a good one.