FG, IFAD-VCDP Strategy on Rural Farmers’ Access to Finance – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
The FGN / IFAD Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) organized a capacity building workshop on technical support to enable rural farmers to access credit facilities.
Country Program Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP, Alhaji Garba Bala, said the workshop aimed to provide technical assistance to selected financial institutions and other value chain actors.
Bala, who was represented by IFAD-VCDP’s national rural finance officer, Mr. Seriki Abayomi, said participants were farm business managers and CEOs of financial and insurance service providers, buyers, aggregators, among others, from Kogi, Niger and Ogun. States.
He said the workshop aimed to improve the financial inclusion of VCDP beneficiaries engaged in various program activities along the rice and cassava value chain in VCDP participating states.
According to him, the strategy involves issues relating to savings, credit payments and agricultural insurance currently prominent in various national and regional forums with a view to deepening the institutionalization of the concept in development work.
“The institutional set-up for the implementation of the financial inclusion strategy is relatively new, complex and poorly understood. Ongoing training, awareness raising and capacity building of all relevant actors in the value chain and program beneficiaries must be vigorously pursued to domesticate this important concept.
“This is what guided the organization and conduct of this important workshop by the FGN / IFAD VCDP,” he said.
Also speaking, the State Program Coordinator, FGN / FIDA-VCDP, Dr Stella Adejoh, noted that farmers, especially smallholders, have historically had difficulty accessing credit for their farming activities.
“In the rice and cassava value chain that we support, farmers are supposed to pay the 30-40% walking subsidy while we give a certain percentage of 60 or 70% depending on the categories of their group, to be able to access the grant. . But the expected contribution of 30 percent from farmers remains a huge challenge.
“So, this workshop brought together different stakeholders from financial institutions to train them on how they can work with our farmers and provide them assistance in a sustainable way,” she said.
Two participants, Kudirat Yusuf, Agricultural Development Finance, Jaiz Bank, Abuja, and Managing Director, Ecosystem Financial Service Aggregators, Mr. Fasasi Sarafadeen, said the workshop had enlightened them on IFAD-VCDP and its grant for farmers, especially agricultural inputs and equipment. .