Nigeria, October, 06 2015 - Faced with the challenge of inability to secure agricultural loans from conventional banks and high interest rates, some farmers associations have launched their own micro-finance bank.
Mr Muideen Adekunle, a board member of the Joint Farmers Microfinance Bank (JFMB) in Oyo town, Oyo State, told news men in Ibadan that the initiative was the joint effort of 187 cooperative societies.
Adekunle said the cooperative societies decided some years ago to establish the financial institution to serve farmers in the whole country.
The board member, who is current Chairman of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) in Oyo State, said JFMB was the first of its kind in the country.
He said the bank, which commenced operations in Oyo on Sept. 28, would have branches in Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi and Abuja.
Adekunle urged farmers to buy shares of the new bank, saying it would serve their interest.
lamented that some individuals in the past had duped Nigerian farmers under the guise of registering them for fictitious loans and grants.
Adekunle said the founders the new bank were people of integrity who had the interest of ordinary farmers at heart.
“The NCGA headquarters has promised to link the Joint Farmers Microfinance Bank to donors.
“ We shall link the bank to the Small and Medium Enterprises programme of the CBN which is presently delivering N220 billion facility,” he said.
Adekunle said although the NCGA was a strong catalyst for the birth of the bank, it would serve all farmers.
He urged NCGA members to lead the way by subscribing massively to the N100 million capital requirement of the CBN for the bank to take off fully.
Adekunle said the bank was coming at the right time as agriculture would now be the main pillar of the Nigerian economy given the dwindling revenue from crude oil. (NAN)
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