The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday gave indications that more strategies aimed at uplifting rural farmers from poverty would be designed as part of its corporate social responsibility to the society.
CBN’s Development Finance Officer, (DFO) Ado Ekiti office, Mr Sowunmi Sogunle disclosed at a 5-Day Training on Agricultural Value Chains Upgrade Services for National, Regional and Global Competitiveness, in Ado Ekiti.
Sogunle said at the training organided by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), an offshoot of CBN that the problems facing the average Nigerian farmer in the remote village is of paramount concern to the bank.
“NIRSAL plays a key role in CBN intervention programmes, including the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which focused at small holder farmers in rural communities.
“This is being done in order to boost their production, create employment and boost the Gross Domestic Product.
“NIRSAL, through us, has done quite a lot for the agricultural Value-Chain in Nigeria by reaching out to the rural communities to create awareness on agricultural practice and opportunities.
“This has helped reduce financial exclusion in their areas,” he said.
Project Monitoring, Reporting and Recommendation Officer of NIRSAL in Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Ashade, also observed that the principal factors destroying farmers’ fortunes in the country was poor attitude of consumers to locally grown foods especially rice.
He enjoined farmers to cultivate the habit of forming themselves into groups or cooperatives so as to benefit more from government programmes and policies initiated for thier upliftment.
According to him, the goal of NIRSAL is to trigger an agrucultural industrialisation process through increased production and processing of greater part of what is produced on the farm to boost economic earnings.