The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar has announced that the Federal Government has allocated a N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to assist livestock farmers across the nation.
The loan facility aims to provide farmers with greater access to funds at reasonable interest rates, enabling them to expand their businesses and attract potential investors to the livestock value chain.
During a recent media briefing held at the ministry’s conference room in Abuja, Abubakar emphasised the government’s commitment to transforming the livestock sector through significant programs such as the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), the Livestock Productivity Resilience and Support Plan (LPRESP), among others.
Abubakar highlighted that while the crop sub-sector has traditionally received more attention due to its role in ensuring food security, nutrition security is equally crucial in complementing grain production for holistic growth.
Regarding the loan facility, Abubakar disclosed, “The N5 billion allocated to the Bank of Agriculture is part of the recapitalisation effort, specifically designated for livestock herders. The bank is currently undergoing recapitalisation, which will bring additional funds to the institution.”
He further emphasised that the loan scheme would promote stability, foster the development of the livestock sector, and enhance security and peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders.
Speaking on behalf of the Bank of Agriculture, its managing director, Alwan Ali Hassan explained, “The Federal Government has recapitalised the Bank of Agriculture and we have received funds to finance the entire agricultural value chain.
“The loan disbursement process will adhere strictly to the conditions outlined in the loan agreement. We have established regulations governed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions.”
Regarding interest rates, he stated, “The rate will vary depending on the specific value chain being financed. Our interest rates range from nine per cent to 15 per cent, contingent on the risk associated with the business venture.”
When asked whether individual farmers who are not registered members of associations are eligible to apply for the loan, the managing director confirmed, “In fact, we intend to provide loans to the individual members of these associations. The role of the association is to introduce their members to the program.”
In response to the news, a statement by the ministry’s director of information, Ikemefuna Ezeaja, quoted the national president of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Baba Usman Ngelzarma commending the Federal Government for introducing the loan facility as a crucial intervention for the livestock value chain.