Good News for Maize Farmers
A commercial bank, Unity Bank Plc, has said it will provide additional funding to 120,000 smallholder maize farmers in Nigeria in the 2021 wet season farming in Nigeria.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, made this known while delivering a goodwill message at the unveiling of the first National Maize Pyramids and flag-off of wet season farming programmes held over the weekend in Katsina.
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Unity Bank was invited to participate in the events marking the unveiling by the Maize Association of Nigeria, MAAN as a major participant in the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP),
Mrs. Tomi Somefun who was represented by Head, Agribusiness unit of the bank, Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya, said the additional funding for 2021 wet season farming is “in furtherance to the Bank’s commitment towards supporting maize farmers” in the country that the strategic partnership with the Maize Association of Nigeria commenced in 2019 with the financing of about 37,182 smallholder farmers, with the Bank increasing its financing tally to 70,604 smallholder farmers in 2020.
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Somefun said that “The maize Pyramids will go down in history as the first maize pyramid in Nigeria which demonstrates not only the resilience of our farmers but also the commendable vision of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the implementing partners. This should be replicated in all states with a focus on the crops that have comparative advantage.”
She added: “Unity Bank is fully committed to its partnership with MAAN and this commitment will ensure the attainment of FGN/CBN target to meeting self-sufficiency in Maize production through the Association”.
The national President of MAAN, Dr. Abubakar Bello commended Unity Bank for its continued support of the farmers through its strategic role in providing the necessary financing to the maize farmers.
“We cannot appreciate enough our financing partners, especially Unity Bank. Today we have over 50,000 bags of maize in this pyramid, which will contribute significantly to Nigeria’s strategic grain reserves. This could not have been possible without the financing made possible by these partners. We commend them for this role and remain grateful.” He said.
He reiterated the association commitment to continue to meet the financing obligations and sustain the drive for increased maize output in the 2021 wet season farming.
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