Green Innovation Centre (GIC), a German Development agency has revealed its plans to support agricultural financing project in Nigeria with €3.5 million. This was made known by Project Coordinator, GIC, Caroline Trimborn. The project is a development initiative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Speaking at the Agricultural Production and Processing Economics Training organised for journalists in Abuja, Trimborn revealed that the project will commence in November, 2018 and is expected to be extended to a total budget of 17 million Euros until 2022.
Trimborn made known that the centre would work with commercial banks to provide agricultural finance for smallholder farmers, adding that collateral requirements will be specific to the banks and the kind of schemes potential beneficiaries coming up with.
The project coordinator, who described agriculture as a business, noted that the centre was building the capacities of farmers in partnership with the government in seven states across the country to improve the livelihood of farmers through improved agricultural technologies.
Also speaking, the team leader, GIC Nigeria, Baba Ashmara said the agency has been working with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers through strengthened linkages along the maize, rice, cassava and Irish potatoes value chains.
Ashmara added that the project had built the capacities of no fewer than 450 extension agents and equipped them with working tools to enable them assist smallholder farmers to adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
He reiterated the need for creating linkages along the value chains to boost upstream, after post production, to link the farmers with the processors to improve the value chain.
How this fund can benefit farmers
Nigeria’s agribusiness sector needs more funding to remain sustainable and achieve long-term growth expectation. Stakeholders in the agricultural value chain have long before now been crying out for more fund injection in their sector.
The German agency is currently active in 14 countries. Its coordinates activities with local ministries and cooperates with programmes under the special initiative One World – No Hunger as well as with bilateral German development cooperation programmes.
Smallholder farms are the focus of the Green Innovation Centres programme, which aids them in sustainably increasing their agricultural production and income.
The second objective of GIC is to generate new jobs in the area of food processing, ensuring that a greater portion of the value added from agricultural production remains in the local area, especially within rural regions.