Salihu Tanko Yakasai, Kano: Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje today (Tuesday) disbursed N1 billion interest-free loans under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS), to 517 farmers associations, comprising about 4, 000 members in the state.
Launching the scheme at the Government House in Kano, Dr. Ganduje explained that the fund was secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria, for promoting commercial agricultural enterprises.
The governor said the loan, which would be disbursed to small and medium scale farmers groups is part of efforts by his administration to diversify agriculture, reduce poverty, create more jobs and enhance food security.
“Agricultural commodities included in the value-added chain to be covered by the loan are dairy production, fishery, cotton, maize, wheat and rice”, the governor highlighted.
“To actualize this initiative and fast track development of the agricultural section of the economy, the need arose to reduce the credit on agricultural production to enable farmers to benefit from the potential of the sector such as to increase output, generate employment and diversify the revenue base of the state”, he maintained.
Describing agriculture as the way out of the current economic recession and an opportunity for farmers to boost their harvest, Governor Ganduje revealed that a workshop would also be organized to train beneficiaries of the scheme on efficient management of the funds.
Consequently, the governor urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the loans, warning that a special mobile court would be constituted to prosecute any beneficiary who defaults in repay the loans at the end of its tenor.
The representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during the occasion, Malam, Abubakar AbdulKadir who made a presentation titled “CACS Fund: Accessibility, Distribution, and Recovery”, explained that the loans were repayable in two years, to enable as many farmers as possible to benefit.
On her part, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Barr. Zubaida Damakka Abubakar, who presented a paper on “How to Run a Successful Agricultural Enterprise”, was of the opinion that farmers should imbibe the attitude of bookkeeping, sourcing raw materials at the cheaper price and maximizing time of production to ensure accountability.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Sani Yadakwari a cattle breeder, whose association received N5 million assured that they would use the loans prudently.