A digital payment service provider, Cellulant, said that it had arranged a consortium of financial sector actors that had agreed to offer $100m to small-scale farmers as micro loans.
The firm said this was in furtherance of the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the Federal Government.
It said, “In 2017, private sectors and financial partners will begin to test the injection of loans into the system; Messer Cellulant has arranged the consortium of financial sector actors who have agreed to deploy a loan book portfolio of $100m into smallholder farmers’ micro loans.
“The goal is to achieve 1,736,445 farmers borrowing between June 2017 and July 2018.”
According to a statement from firm, this transformation has been made possible by its Agrikore platform, also known as “e-wallet” developed for Nigeria in 2012.
“The e-wallet platform at its core provides the tools for the creation of a structured agribusiness economy. The platform provides value for users, which include ensuring management of interventions, providing visibility of the cash flow movements within the schemes, enabling the management of accounts, executing payment and reconciliation processes,” it stated.
The firm, which also launched a report highlighting the impact of the GES during the dry season in 2016, said that over 600,000 farmers received finance during the exercise.
It noted that the GES, which set out to service 500,000 farmer-households in four value chains, accomplished 92 per cent of the targeted subsidised service, while adding 200,000 more farmers to a financial support platform.
It added that over 1,000 jobs were created as a result of the programme.
It said, “With the dry season programme impacting more than 350,000 farmers, enough food will be produced to feed roughly 120 million Nigerians for two months.”