In an effort to achieve food security in Oyo State, the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has approved the release of N1 billion, under the Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAFER) Programme, to be disbursed to the farmers in all the 33 local government areas of the state. The single digit interest loan facility would ensure greater accessat reasonable interest rates for farmers to expand their businesses and attract potential investors into the farming value chain.
The Executive Chairman of Oyo State Agricultural Credit Corporation, Taofeek Akeugbagold, said that the incumbent administration is committed to reforming the farming sector with notable programmes like SAFER, among others. According to him, this development will ensure the attainment of food security and reduce the effects of removal of fuel subsidy as the loan facility will focus on the small holder farmers, who bear the burden of feeding the teeming population.
“The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde has graciously approved the release of N1 billion under the Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAFER) Programme, which is to be disbursed to farmers in all the 33 local government areas of the state to improve food security”, he said. They account for about 90% of farmers’ population and responsible for about 95% of the aggregate food and fibre production in the state. The chairman pointed out that, “They are mostly residents of the state’s rural areas, who are poorly served by basic public amenities”.
Akeugbagold further explained that to access loan, which would be disbursed and recouped by microfinance banks across the seven geopolitical zones in the state, each benefiting farmers must bring a guarantor, who is a civil servant on grade level 7 and above. He noted that the scheme would bring more stability to develop the agriculture sector and provide an enabling environment for the development of farms and agricultural ventures in Oyo State. He added that the loan process, which is apolitical, will be disbursed to farmers, who are duly registered with the state ministry of agriculture. The General Manager explained further that, “The Oyo State government has recapitalised the corporation, we have received some funds and one of the mandates of the corporation is financing the agriculture value chain completely’’.