Keystone Bank lauds massive farm projects in Nasarawa | Dailytrust

Keystone Bank lauds massive farm projects in Nasarawa

Bank officials being conducted round the farm during the visit
Bank officials being conducted round the farm during the visit

Keystone Bank has commended the expansion of projects of the Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) in Kokona area of Nasarawa State after a surprise visit to the farm on Wednesday. 

A management team from Lagos and North Central led by its Divisional Head, (Abuja-Wuse Division), Akinsanmi Falaki, visited the farm to monitor the Central Bank of Nigeria’s support for the farm, verify its progress and also provide further supports for the farmers.

The team leader said the visit was part of the bank’s “normal routine of monitoring check on credit facilities availed to farmers by the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

The farm which is owned by over 500 farmers and managed by the Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) in Kokona Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, is one of the single largest community-based farm settlement in Nigeria currently supported by the CBN.

“What I saw on ground is that there have been significant improvement on ground. The rice mill is now automated. They also now have automated poultry, cold room and they are now concluding the setting up of their greenhouse. They have planted variety of crops.

“So far so good I not have any doubt that Nigeria Farmers Group will perform and they will continue to meet their payment obligations and translate all the investment we have seen on ground to naira and kobo.

“So it is just to encourage them to continue to work hard. I am happy that I saw the principals on the ground working very hard, even when we came to the farm unannounced,” Falaki told journalists.

He advised management of the farm to continue to build good relationships with creditors as they will continue to support them even with professional advice.

Also speaking, the National Coordinator of the farmers’ group, Mr. Retson Tedheke, said he was impressed with the visit as it provided ground to strengthen the existing relationship with Keystone Bank as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“I am happy they were overwhelmed by what they saw with crop cultivation ongoing for the season by over 500 farmers.

“They saw a 45 tons’ rice mill; they also saw 30,000 automated poultry for birds completed. They saw indoor ranch with the capacity of holding 500 animals for fattening, including cow, sheep and goats and construction of greenhouse ongoing,” he said.

He said the farm has positioned itself as an example of what the Federal Government wants to see as farm settlements (or Ruga as some will prefer) in the entire country.

“We already have a farmhouse and settlement where majority of the staff live. A standard football pitch and sports complex for in and outdoor recreation”, he said.

Retson expressed confidence that the support gotten from the Federal Government through the CBN and currently monitored by Keystone Bank would no doubt yield positive results.

He however said the government needs to invest more to expand the capacity of the farm so as to increase the number of staff from over five hundred to at least one thousand and above.

“The farm has committed 100% of the facility given to it towards upgrading. More needs to be done urgently to empower Nigerians knowing that we may have issues with draught.

“The farm has been able to build a dam and a power line. The dam has been able to account for support of farmers and communities around the area farming all year in the last year.

“A lot has been done but more needs to be done,” Retson said.

He commended the Central Bank for its low interest rate but however appealed to the apex bank to summon the courage to release more funds for farmers like them who have dedicated their life to building the nation’s agro sector.

 

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