Over 387 maize farmers belonging to the Kelechik Out-growers Scheme in Lokpa Nta and Umunneochi Local Government Areas of Abia state have enjoyed the support of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) in various areas like harvesting, handling, storage, processing, transportation, and off-take.
The support, embedded in the Anchor Borrowers Program of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which NIRSAL is a Participating Financial Institution (PFI), led to the harvest and transportation of 1,354 tonnes of maize valued at N162, 480,000. The management, in a statement, said an initial 21 hectares of land belonging to 21 smallholder farmers was cultivated, while arrangements have been concluded for the outstanding 366 farmers to participate in the 2019 wet season farming.
It read, “With the end-to-end use of mechanization starting from the pre-planting phase, the maize crops were harvested, dehusked, threshed, weighed and transported to a production drop point for storage and eventual delivery. Under the NIRSAL model, smallholder farmers are closely supported throughout the production phase up till the point of off-take. As part of efforts to ensure optimum yield, farmers are trained on Best Agronomic Practices and Farm Management to prepare them for the transition from smallholder farming to Agribusiness.
Farmers under the scheme have thereby expressed their delight and appreciation to NIRSAL for building their capacity, empowering them and improving their yields, incomes, and livelihoods through the project.