No fewer than 200 farmers in Benue State yesterday got loans worth N1billion for commercial agricultural production.
The commercial Agricultural loan, which is a scheme initiated by the Benue state government is funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to encourage genuine farmers to boost food production in the state and country.
Performing the ceremony, Governor Gabriel Suswam said the aim of the scheme was to complement the effort of farmers to enhance food security and added that government was seriously committed to better the lives of the populace through promoting modern agriculture.
The governor said the development was not meant to enrich politicians or further induce political patronage but an act to exemplify the qualitative leadership of his administration which, he stated would also project and retain the food basket status of the state.
Suswam advised the beneficiaries of the monies not to divert it to different purposes and assured that CBN would been negotiated to offer additional N2b to farmers who could not benefit from the present disbursement.
Chairman of the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme and state commissioner for Finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia explained that the committee was set up to discover genuine farmers who, he said, were making impact in the promotion of agriculture in the state and revealed that about 423 farmers applied for the loan.
Oklobia disclosed that the money was to enable farmers improve on their activities in rice and cassava processing, animal production and large scale farming.
Commissioner for Agriculture and National Orientation, Dr. Eugene Aliegba stated that the Suswam administration was concerned with moving on with a commercial and business orientated farming and anticipated that Benue would, in the next two years join the federal government in the full transformation of the agricultural sector.