See Farmers Honored with Best National Farmers Award in Abuja
The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) on Thursday gave awards and cash prizes to three outstanding farmers and a financial institution for their efforts in boosting agriculture in the country. The awards were presented in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Mr Martin Ibeabuchi of Nemat Farms, Enugu, was presented the Award for Best Farmer for the Year, 2020 and received a cash prize of N1,000, 000.
Mr Sunday Udoakang, of Akang Farms and Ventures Limited from Akwa Ibom state came second with a cash prize of N750, 000 while Vitus Ubah of Summit Agro Services, Abuja, came third and won a cash prize of N500, 000.
LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited was also named as the Best Supporting Financial Institution for the year 2020.
The Chairman of ACGSF Board, Mr Stephen Okon, said that the fund was established in 1977, to guarantee agricultural credit facilities were granted to farmers.
Okon said that the Federal Government and the CBN contributed to the fund in the ratio of 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively that the CBN served as the managing agent of the scheme and secretariat of the fund.
“The fund encourages Deposit Money Banks to lend to those engaged in agriculture by providing guarantee. It mitigates risks associated with banks’ lending to agriculture by guaranteeing to pay banks 75 per cent of the net amount in default.
“The fund provides guarantee in respect of loans granted by any bank for agricultural purposes, with the aim of increasing the level of bank credit to the agriculture sector,’’ he said.
The board chairman announced that the share capital of the fund had increased from N3 billion to N50 billion over time and the maximum loans given to farmers without collateral had also increased from N20,000 to N100,000, while maximum loans with collateral also increased from N10 million to N50 million.
CBN’s Director of Development Financing, Mr Yila Yusuf, commended the ACGSF for the awards, and urged the farmers who were presented the award to see it as a mark of encouragement to do more and those who did not win should not be discouraged but see it as a clarion call to increase their efforts in improving their yields.
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