The Federal Government on Tuesday disclosed that a N5 billion loan facility has been provided at the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.
This was made known by Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, at a news conference in Abuja.
Abubakar said the aim of the loan is to enable the farmers to expand their businesses and attract potential investors into the livestock value chain.
“This briefing today is specifically on livestock development in Nigeria.
“For the most part, the crop sector has always gotten more attention because it comes with food security.
“But nutrition security is the other nutrient that would complement the grains otherwise you will have a different kind of growth.
We have been putting a lot more in the crop, I think the time has come and again through this administration to look and balance with the livestock, and with the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) and Livestock Productivity Resilience and Support Plan”, he said.
He said that these are the two programmes used by the government to support livestock farming.
“We need the balance between the livestock farmers and crop farmers in order to have peace and justice.
“The Bank of Agriculture is specifically established to support farmers in all crops and livestock.
“This particular briefing is on a scheme to provide loans to farmers in this country.
“The Bank is being recapitalized and as the President usually walks his talks, we also try to emulate him. I have talked now I am walking my talk.
“Right now, there is N5 billion in the Bank of Agriculture as part of recapitalization that would be given out to livestock herders,” he added.
The minister said that as the BOA bank is being recapitalised, more money would be coming to the bank.
Abubakar urged the livestock farmers, associations and interested parties, to go through the BOA for all the requirements to be able to obtain the loans.
“This is also to make the public know that there is a scheme coming and I believe this will bring more stability to develop the livestock sector, improve security and harmonious existence between farmers and herders,” he said.
The Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, explained that the Federal Government has recapitalised the Bank of Agriculture.
“We have received some funds and one of the mandates of the bank is financing the agricultural value chain completely.
“This livestock sector financing that we intend to start very soon was actually kick-started about three weeks ago, and we virtually registered close to 20,000 farmers in our branches nationwide.
“The bank has about 110 locations across the country and we advise the applicants to go to the nearest branch to register their names and obtain the application forms and go through the process.
“My advice to the participants is that this is a loan, it is a capital for the bank. So please let them pay back as at when due,” he said.