By Aliyu DANLADI
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, on Wednesday began a two-week training for no fewer than 100 farmers in South West on different agricultural enterprises.
Mr Sodiq Ajayi from Development Finance Office, CBN, said at the occasion that the training, under Agricultural Small Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) of the apex bank, was to equip farmers with necessary skills for their business.
Ajayi said that the training would also equip the farmers with skills that would enable them to qualify and access loans under the scheme.
He said the training would be on different agricultural enterprises such as poultry, piggery, small ruminants and maize productions.
According to him, the loan will be spread for three to seven years, with five per cent interest per annum.
“For example, if you want to access N1 million loan, you are expected to pay N50, 000 interest by the end of the year; the maximum you can access is N10 million.
“CBN is partnering IAR&T because it is standardised; once they certify that anyone is fully trained, they will give him a loan form to fill.
“You will be invited for an interview after, and once you do well during the interview, you are qualified for the loan.
“The loan is without collateral; so, take the training seriously to qualify,” he said.
Dr Olukemi Lawal, the Head, South West Farming System Research Extension Programme, IAR&T, said the training was targeted at agricultural entrepreneurs, farmers, processors, retirees and startups, who planned to go into agricultural business.
“During the next one to two weeks, we shall be digging deep into some agricultural enterprises chosen by each participant.
“At the end, we shall write and defend our business proposals,” she said.
Lawal lauded the participants for heeding the call for training.
Earlier, the IAR&T Executive Director, Prof. James Adediran, said the institute was saddled with the responsibility of carrying out research and training of farmers and other stakeholders in all areas of its mandate including maize, cowpea, kenaf and soybean.
Adediran was represented at the occasion by the IAR&T Deputy Director, Dr Jelili Saka.—–NAN