Abuja - Malam Mukhtar Abubakar, the National Coordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), on Tuesday said the agency would disburse N100 million to beneficiaries of its Grassroots Agricultural Micro Credit Programme.
The coordinator said this in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among NAPEP, Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) AND FADAMA.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the disbursement will be made within one year through the participating micro-finance banks.
Abubakar said that the programme was an initiative designed to provide micro-credit funds as well as nurture financial and entrepreneurial education to rural communities.
He said that “the flagship of the programme is scheduled in anticipation of the coming dry season farming”.
The coordinator said the programme would also be available for wet season farming, horticulture, livestock farming, agricultural storage and other agricultural support services.
“We will be piloting this project in 12 states - two states in each of the six geopolitical zones, selecting 18 FADAMA farm user groups per state,” Abubakar said.
He said that another N100 million had been earmarked for targeting capacity development, financial education and monitoring and evaluation by all partners.
The national coordinator said the amount was to ensure performance and to guarantee that results from the pilot project was effectively analysed and improved upon.
He said the measure would be adopted for subsequent rounds slated for launch in 2014.
Responding, Tayo Adewumi, the FADAMA representative, said the grassroots agricultural micro credit programme was a synergy among NAPEP, RUFIN AND FADAMA.
He said it would address the plight of grassroots dwellers.
Adewumi said FADAMA had looked forward to the opportunities to link up with micro finance banks for the pilot projects.
He assured that the micro credit scheme would be used judiciously.
The Representative of the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme, (RUFIN), Mrs Biola Saliu, said the scheme would help the rural people to upgrade their standard of living.
Ibrahim Sadiq, a representative of the micro finance banks, expressed satisfaction with the credit programme.