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Food and Agriculture

Niger State is undoubtedly blessed with abundant arable and fertile land for disparate and multitudinous cultivations. There is no area in the state that is barren. The majority of the farmers are engaged in family agriculture. Family farming supplies the greater part of agricultural production, and is crucial for supplying both internal and external markets. Family farming supplies the greater part of agricultural production, and is crucial for supplying both internal and external markets. A major challenge facing agriculture today is devising appropriate development strategies that will capture the financial services requirements of farmers and small and medium entrepreneurs who constitute about 70 percent of the population. All farmers have access to credit. In fact, it is common for some farmers to have multiple sources of loans.

The problem is that some have limited access to formal credit due to high interest rates, terms and conditions that cannot be fulfilled by the borrowers, among others.

Microfinance institutions are important in achieving this objective and are being promoted to be commercially viable through an appropriate policy and regulatory framework. It is also important for the microfinance sector to gain both public and donor confidence. At the Mustafa Bello Foundation for Small Enterprise Development our target audience are the economically active poor with emphasis on agriculture, agro-allied and providing Our youths have to be purposefully persuaded and educated to understand that agriculture offers more than “employment of last resort”: to restore and improve our long aged traditional heritage – farming “Noma Na Duke tsofon chiniki”.

Agricultural loans or directed credit are considered seasonal loans and payable after the crops have been harvested. On the other hand, agricultural microfinance considers the household’s other sources of Loan amounts and payments schemes are based on the households’ cashflows and not on the production estimate and harvesting schedule of the agricultural products.

Our Aim and Objectives include:

To put more emphasis in agricultural credit has continued to be on progressive institutionalisation for providing timely and adequate credit support to farmers with particular focus on small and marginal farmers and weaker sections of society to enable them to adopt modern technology and improved agricultural practices for increasing agricultural production and productivity.

To encourage Bank linkage programme by innovating a novel way of banking for the poor, that will provided them access to the financial services in a reasonably short time and low costs and aims at improving bank’s outreach and credit flow to the poor in an effective and sustainable manner.

To bring farmers, and croppers within the banking fold.

To bring debt relief measures for farmers in distress and in arrears by way of rescheduling/restructuring of their loans and introduction of special one time settlement scheme for small and marginal farmers.
Redemption of debts of farmers from noninstitutional sources.

Lack of access to economic resources, especially finance, by the numerous sparsely located SMEs and farmers continues to inhibit economic growth and development. This calls for critical examination and the adoption of an approach to avoid declaring SMEs and farmers as “endangered species”. It is important to double our efforts to transform the economy and continuously explore pragmatic methodologies to address the problems of our farmers and SMEs.

We strive to make agriculture to be the driving force of our economic and social development by providing farmer with a hard-to-shun attraction to farming and farming activities and affordable loans.

Mustafa Bello Foundation for Small Enterprise Development
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