Cas­sava grow­ers to get N2.4bn FG loan

Daily Trust - - AGRICULTURE - By Vin­cent A. Yusuf

Mem­bers of the cas­sava grow­ers as­so­ci­a­tion have been promised a loan of N2.4 bil­lion by the Federal Govern­ment and N10 bil­lion cas­sava bread in­ter­ven­tion funds.

The loan in­ter­est is 5% and payable in 3 to 4 years.

This rev­e­la­tion was made by the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Adewumi Adesina dur­ing the com­mis­sion­ing of the farm­ing trac­tor equip­ment, util­ity ve­hi­cles and of­fice com­plex of the as­so­ci­a­tion at the weekend in Abuja.

Adesina said Nigeria, which pro­duces 40 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of cas­sava an­nu­ally, is the world largest pro­ducer of the prod­uct and also poised to be the largest pro­ces­sor of the prod­uct in the world.

The funds, which are han­dled by the Bank of Agri­cul­ture (BOA), will help cas­sava grow­ers in the coun­try to pro­duce the quan­tity needed to meet the 20 per cent cas­sava flour in­clu­sion in bread.

Adesina said that the Bank of Agri­cul­ture was set to be­gin the dis­burse­ment of the N2. 4 bil­lion to cas­sava grow­ers and pro­ces­sors at 5% in­ter­est rate.

Ac­cord­ing to him, 300 Agri­cul­ture Equip­ment Hir­ing En­ter­prises (AEHE) lo­cated in cas­sava pro­duc­tion clus­ters were made avail­able by the Min­istry, as part of the cas­sava ini­tia­tive in­ter­ven­tion fund.

The min­is­ter promised Nige­ri­ans that by 2015, Nigeria will sur­pass the tar­get of adding 20 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of food to the na­tional food out­put set at the time of launch­ing the ATA in 2011.

“Nigeria shall be free from the shack­les of the wheat im­porters”, he said.

Adesina hopes that fu­ture Nige­rian mil­lion­aires and bil­lion­aires will emerge from agri­cul­ture, ex­plain­ing that about N240 bil­lion would be saved with the 20% in­fu­sion of cas­sava and sorghum into bread.

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