- CBN, IFAD to Assist Farmers, Artisans in Oyo
The Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are in partnership to provide support for smallholder farmers and business women in the rural communities.
The funding is being done through the Rural Finance Institution-Building programme.
The Oyo State Microfinance Officer and Coordinator of RUFIN in the state, Olusola Ogundiran, said the funds would be provided through the CBN and microfinance institutions in the state.
Ogundiran spoke during an awareness programme at the Oluyole Local Government Area of the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Atilola Adewale, at the event, called on those in charge of the facility and participants in the area to use the opportunity to contribute their quota to poverty eradication in the LGA.
According to Ogundiran, participants in the programme would be organised into groups of 10 and 20, explaining that after a period of bonding, they would be expected to submit proposals to determine the level of support they would get from the providers of the funds.
The RUFIN coordinator said, “The programme aims at building the various available institutions that will be participating in the RUFIN project. The aim is poverty reduction through micro-financing.
“Having gone round, we realised that the people in the rural areas are not bereft of ideas to be part of an industry. The problem is that they may lack the plan that will turn the idea to a widely accepted profitable venture that will create additional income for them.
“The programme is all about a loan agreement between the Nigerian government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Other partnering institutions are the CBN and the Federal Department of Cooperatives. The microfinance institutions that will finally support the participants will also link them to additional financing at lower interest rate.”
He added, “Whatever will come from the bank in form of assistance will not go to individuals. This has never helped us. What we are doing is to group the participants and provide training and expose them to global practice beyond Nigeria.
“If our people can survive with funds from micro finance companies that are hostile with interest, we are certain that they will do better with low-interest rate funding with no collateral.”
Ogundiran explained that the facility had been extended to nine council areas in the state from the initial three, which put the state at the same level with Anambra State.