Over 80 percent of farmers that have benefited from the agribusiness loan facility provided by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System For Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), have not repaid the loan.
This was disclosed by Mr. Noel Dilli, the NIRSAL Head of Project Monitoring Reporting and Remediation in Nasarawa State when the agency held a media and stakeholder engagement in Lafia, Nasarawa State today (June 2, 2022).
He said NIRSAL which is an agency of the Central Bank of Nigeria has since 2017 provided loans to over 4,600 farmers in Nasarawa State to the tune of about 500 million naira and most of them have failed to repay long after the agreed deadline.
He appealed to the defaulting farmers to repay what they owe so that others can also benefit.
Earlier on in his opening remarks, Mr. Noel Dilli said the purpose of the engagement with the media and stakeholders was to showcase some of the products and services of NIRSAL as well as hear feedback on how to improve those products and services.
He also gave the criteria that needed to be met before one can become a beneficiary to include being a member of a well-structured cooperative society amongst others.
Also making a presentation on some of the projects of NIRSAL, Onerno Obaseki who is an Assistant Manager, Agricultural Value Chain-Production and Integration Services (AVC-PIS) said the activities of NIRSAL are geared towards making positive impact on the different levels of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria.
She urged the farmers to fully subscribe to NIRSAL’s approach to farming especially the innovations which are already being replicated in other African countries as a result of their proven efficacy.
One of the beneficiaries, Musa Mohammed from the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria appreciated NIRSAL for their intervention in the agricultural sector, saying it has greatly improved both the quality and quantity of farm produce which has in turn improved the livelihood of the farmers.
He also called for more funding so that there can be a greater improvement in the agricultural sector.
Another beneficiary by name Amina Ali who also appreciated the efforts of NIRSAL towards causing positive change in agriculture in Nigeria, however called on farmers who are defaulting in repaying the loans to do so. She said this will enable NIRSAL come up with greater projects that will positively change the lives of the farmers.
Apart from beneficiaries of some of NIRSAL’s products and projects, the event was also attended by stakeholders from the academia, the media as well as farmers who are hoping to also benefit from the activities of the agency.