By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
To achieve its target of structuring and financing four million hectares of farmland nationwide, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc), has mapped over 4,000 hectares of rice, cassava and maize farms in Adamawa, Osun and Enugu States.
NIRSAL’s Agro Geo-Cooperative (AGC) formation exercise, mapped out the hectares in Dwam and Zekun in Adamawa; Iwoye Egbedore, Bara and Oyere in Osun, and Nkerefi in Enugu State.
In another development, the non-bank financial institution also recently verified 133 hectares of farmland belonging to six farmer-groups in Oyo State for cocoa and cassava production.
The Agro Geo-Cooperative model will make farming more profitable, easier, and more sustainable as well as ease agric funding, boost productivity, and increase farmers incomes, NIRSAL said.
It said the main objective of the initiative is to create 16,000 Agro Cooperatives on four million hectares of farmland, as well as enroll eight million Nigerian farmers whose responsibility will be to produce about 12 million metric tonnes of Grain Product Equivalent (GPE) annually, over the medium to long term.
Meanwhile, NIRSAL Plc’s officers nationwide have begun sensitizing farmers on the guidelines and benefits of the NIRSAL AGC model.
Through the AGC model, the non-bank financial institution is linking farmers nationwide with cheaper commercial finance and also providing them training, inputs and markets.