Oyo State Government under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) initiative, is set to disburse a total of N340,270,000 to another set of 1,227 beneficiaries across the state.
The disbursement, which is to be done through Agricultural Credit Corporation of Oyo state, (ACCOS), is the fourth batch of loan disbursement under the SAfER Agric Support Initiative.
Chairman, Agricultural Credit Corporation of Oyo State (ACCOS), Sheikh Taofeek Akeugbagold stated this on Wednesday at a press conference held at the Briefing Room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
He hinted that the fourth batch of the loan disbursement would commence on Friday 9th of February, 2024 across the seven geopolitical zones of the state through the participating Microfinance Banks.
Applauding Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for his innovative vision, the ACCOS chairman explained that the Oyo State Government had earlier distributed N418,850,000 to about 1,407 legitimate farmers, who benefited under the SAfER intervention programme.
He added that the soft loan is strictly for farmers who lack the capacity to access credit from financial institutions due to stringent conditions, noting that this has culminated in the government providing SAfER loan support to improve their farm businesses and improve food production and also sustain the economic recovery of the state.
He assured farmers who were unable to benefit from the previous batches that they would be considered once they meet the necessary requirements, imploring fresh graduates, especially those trained by the state government under the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Programme (YEAP), to apply for the loan.
He equally disclosed that the state will soon begin the GSM FOOD BANK under the corporation, which will procure, preserve and store farm produces during the harvesting period and sell to the public during the off-seasons.
Akeugbagold admonished the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the loan support and ensure that they repay the loan as and when due for others to benefit.
He said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that disbursement has taken place and is still ongoing as quite a number of farmers have benefited and some will still benefit under the intervention programme.
“Governor Makinde is fully aware that the small holders farmers bear the burden of feeding the teeming population and they account for about 90 per cent of the farmers population, most of whom lack capacity to access credit from financial institutions due to stringent conditions.
“Upon this realisation, the government came up with the SAfER Agric Support Loan that can be accessed by farmers with a view to improving their farms.
“With reference to our categorisation of the state into seven (7) major zones, Ibadan Zone I, which is supervised by the Bank of Agriculture, Ibadan has disbursed N156.7 million to a total number 547 beneficiaries, while Ibadan Zone II undertaken by Onibuore Microfinance Bank has disbursed the sum of N118.9 million to 401 beneficiaries.
“In Oyo Zone undertaken by the Bank of Agriculture, Oyo, a total number of 171 beneficiaries have collected the sum of N50.7 million while Ogbomoso Zone handled by Randalpha Microfinance Bank disbursed the sum of N29.2 million to 84 beneficiaries.
“Also, Oke Ogun Zone II handled by Ifedapo Microfinance Bank, Saki, disbursed a total sum of N26.3 million to 79 beneficiaries while Oke Ogun Zone 2 supervised by Bank of Agriculture, Iseyin disbursed the sum of N30.8 million to 110 beneficiaries and Ibarapa Zone undertaken by Igboora Microfinance Bank disbursed the sum of N4.5m to 15 beneficiaries.
“This makes the total sum of N416,850,000 disbursed to 1,407 farmers.
“As stated earlier the programme is still ongoing and the 4th batch has already been considered and the fund shall be disbursed across the various zones by Friday, 9th February, 2024.
“In this 4th batch, the breakdown is as follows; Ibadan Zone I to be undertaken by Bank of Agriculture, Ibadan; N75.9 million for 269 beneficiaries; Ibadan Zone II to be handled by Onibuore Microfinance Bank, N132.2 million for 474 beneficiaries; Oyo Zone to be handled by the Bank of Agriculture, N24.50m for 87 beneficiaries.
“In Oke-Ogun Zone II, Ifedapo Microfinance Bank will disburse N26.2 million to 93 beneficiaries, while Oke-Ogun Zone II to be handled by Bank of Agriculture, Iseyin will disburse N13.4 to 53 beneficiaries.
“In Ogbomoso, Randalpha Microfinance Bank will disburse N44.2 million to 159 beneficiaries, while in Ibarapa Zone, Igboora Microfinance Bank will disburse N23.6 million to 92 beneficiaries.
“Invariably, N340.2 million shall be disbursed to 1,227 beneficiaries across the state, starting tomorrow 9th February, 2024,” he concluded.
Earlier in his address, the General Manager, ACCOS, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran, lauded Governor Makinde over the loan support, stating that the loan attracts a low interest of 8 per cent , a development he said would fast-track agricultural development in the state.