The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has granted $5 million agric loans to Babangona Outgrower Farming Scheme, as part of its commitment towards the growth and development of agricultural sector of the economy.
To this end, about 50,000 small scale farmers are expected to benefit from this loans.
Speaking at the official agreement signing ceremony between the two parties in Lagos at the weekend, the managing director/chief executive officer, NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, said the agreement was more than a year negotiation on both sides, while trying to understand the nature of business Babangona is into before extending such financial assistance to them, expressing satisfaction that both can eventually come to an agreement.
While the benefiting farmers can expand their farmlands and have increased income from bounty harvest, he said, this would lift them out of poverty and enhance the growth of the agricultural sector.
Babangona, according to him, is farm cooperative that brings farmers together and assist the farmers to source for good seedlings, farmlands, fertilizers, teach farmers the best farming techniques and find them buyers for their crops.
As a result of this model, he said, the production output of the participating farmers have increased 40 to 50 per cent, stating that his organisation is proud to invest in them.
Believing that the financial assistance will assist in reducing prices of foods, especially, maize, he added that, the beneficiaries will elevate their farms from subsistence to medium and large farms in the near future, while also addressing malnutrition in the process.
“Babangona is growing very fast and with this investment, we are expecting that it gets to 50,000 farmers and eventually reach one million farmers. The most important thing is that if you get farmers to farm in a better way, improves their production, help them get the right pricing for it, what you eventually find is better yield,” he pointed out.
The Chairman of Babangona, who is also the Emir of Kano State, HRN. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said, agriculture is about improving the productivity of the sector to enhance its contribution to GDP, improves the income of farmers and taking them out of poverty. Through this, he said, they will be able to educate their children, improving their healthcare and better nutrition.