Alhaji Kabir Adamu, Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), says the bank has disbursed N262 billion to 140,000 farmers through Anchor Borrower Scheme in three years.
Adamu, who disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Sokoto, said the disbursement was to support farmers and boost agriculture in the country.
According to him, the bank used to disburse the loans directly to farmers in the past but due to some hitches had to introduce indirect lending through input suppliers to ensure that genuine farmers access the facilities.
Adamu however said that the bank had to take legal action before it could recover N5 billion from the farmers.
He said loans taken by some farmers that faced natural disaster challenges were restructured from non performing to performing loans, explaining that N9. 3 billion micro credits were disbursed in 2017 alone.
“The focus of the bank remains enhancing social impacts through Federal Government programmes, ensuring commercially viable activities and efficiency.
“Our lending rate is still 9% which makes it different to other purely commercial banks,” the BOA managing director said.
The managing director said the bank has adopted measures to checkmate fraud in its loan schemes through introduction of Information Communication Technology packages to capture details of farms sizes, farmers’ information and quantity of inputs needed.
Adamu said Project Monitoring Teams comprising BOA, CBN, farmers` group, and inputs suppliers were inaugurated to promote distribution of quality inputs while any firm found wanting was sanctioned.
The managing director, therefore, called for more awareness on government agricultural interventions to enable real practicing farmers, especially in rural areas to benefit.
He also solicited increased media partnerships on proper utilisation and recovery of agricultural loans aimed at enhancing the lives of all Nigerians.
Adamu explained that 500, 000 farmers are being targeted in the 2018 dry season, stressing that the bank had earmarked N25 billion for Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria and N10 billion for National Egg Production Scheme.
He said 10, 000 farmers were targeted under the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS), to enhance food security, employment generation and promote the wellbeing of Nigerians.