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Union Bank, group sign MoU to finance farmers

By The Citizen
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The Rural Finance Institution Building Programme (RUFIN) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Bank Nigeria Plc to enhance access to finance for rural farmers.

The National Programme Coordinator, Mr. Olumuyiwa Azeez, during the signing of the MoU in Abuja, said the MoU was  part of efforts made to ensure that credits are made available to rural farmers.

He said: 'The essence of this is to ensure that small scale farmers will now have access to credit; we intend to involve the Nigeria Incentive-Base Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to ensure that they provide security for the farmers.

'We hope that Union Bank will ensure that our farmers who already have off-takers for the produce are supported to enhance production.

'We are counting on you; we have numerous farmers in all the RUFIN states and this is very successful; we will then upscale it to all the RUFIN participating states and beyond.'

He assured the bank that the farmers who are expected to benefit from the credit has been properly trained and given financial education, adding that the farmers are in group which will guarantee they pay back loans given to them.

The coordinator said RUFIN's capacity building programmes would be extended to the bank for them to benefit.

He said government was determined to diversify the economy, reduce import bill on agriculture and increase foreign exchange generation through agriculture to ensure that Nigerians eat and grow.