A group, Makarios Global Resources, has announced a partnership arrangement with Sterling Bank to support 200,000 farmers this cropping season in Kano and Plateau States.
A statement issued by the Managing Director of the organisation, Mr Binchang Binfa, explained that the group in partnership with Sterling Bank Plc under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) has initiated an agricultural financing scheme, tagged ‘MAKFARMER REGISTER,’ to enhance farmer’s access to credit facilities.
He said the scheme targeted over 200,000 farmers for participation in the programme in the two states, adding that the scope of the programme will be expanded to capture one million in six other states in the next three years.
The manager listed the participating states to include Jigawa, Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue and Bauchi.
“In its quest to provide holistic solution to the challenges faced by most farmers in Nigeria, the company has created an innovative platform called “MAKFARMERS REGISTER”.
“The platform incorporates verified farm data; farmer profiles with real time support and access to finance, information and markets.
“Smallholder farmers are linked with other actors along the value chain such as input suppliers, extension services, equipment providers, financial institutions, market information centres, etc.
“With the aim of improving sustainability, efficiency and profitability for smallholder farmers and boosting agricultural production in Nigeria.
“In tackling the challenge of access to finance and market, Makarios Global is partnering with Sterling Bank Plc through the bank’s unique and innovative agric finance product named (SWAY- Ag Fin).
“The facility targets women and youths in agriculture aimed at addressing the challenge of finance which has been a major barrier to women and youths in agriculture as well as helping them with access to markets for the sale of their harvests on the Sterling Bank Sabexng.ng platform,” he said.
Binfe said that Makarios, being a super agent to Sterling Bank, is stimulating rural financial inclusion of the unbanked verified farmers in its network.
The platform, he said, enabled farmers to open Sterling Bank accounts in their locations, operate and access loans with ease.
According to him, over 2,000 representatives drawn from farmer cooperatives attended a two-day interactive sessions held in Jos to create awareness on the programme.
“This year, the programme plans to link 1,000,000 farmers with access to market and finance within the next three years in a more structured way.
“The focus is on rice, maize, soya beans, hibiscus, sesame and ginger.
“MAKFARMER REGISTER platform is poised to provide liquidity to commodity exchanges through effective aggregation of best quality agricultural commodities.”