Unity Bank Plc in it’s generosity has announced that it will be assisting 120,000 smallholder maize farmers with funds in the 2021 wet season farming under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
Its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, said this this in a statement they provided to newsmen on Friday in Lagos. She made the commitment while in the middle of a goodwill message at the revealing of the first National Maize Pyramids and kick-off of wet season farming programmes currently held in Katsina.
Unity Bank was invited to participate in the events celebrating the beginning of the season by the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), as a major stakeholder in the apex bank ABP.
Somefun, who was represented by the bank’s Head, Agribusiness, Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya said the additional funding for the 2021 wet season farming was to further the bank’s pledge to support maize farmers in the country.
She stated that partnership with the association commenced in 2019 with the financing of about 37,182 smallholder farmers.
She made it known that the bank increased its financing tally to 70,604 smallholder farmers in 2020.
“The maize pyramids will go down in history as the first maize pyramid in Nigeria which proves not only the resilience of our farmers but also the commendable vision of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the implementing partners.
She also encouraged that this be done in all states as well especially in those that have crops which possess comparative advantage. This is a good and productive move because agriculture is currently contributing over 26% to Nigeria’s GDP and employing about 50% of Nigeria’s working population in rural areas.
This is why investing in this area is a smart choice. It diverts the economy of Nigeria from just oil to other places which will provide jobs for the people and also reduce its poverty rate.
“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,” she said.
The National President of MAAN, Dr Abubakar Bello, commended the bank for its continued support of the farmers through its strategic role in providing the necessary financing to the maize farmers.
He also stated that the association has been motivated to continue to meet the financing obligations and sustain the drive for increased maize output in the 2021 wet season farming.