CBN rewards plateau farmers for paying loans on time
Rev. Iliya Mapal was the runner-up and Rev. Iliya Mapal (Potato farmer) came out second.
Mr Yusuf Daniya, the CBN controller, Jos Branch, said the ACGSF’s Best Farmers of the Year award was introduced in the 1980s to encourage farmers who had taken out loans under the program to keep good records and repay the loans on time.
Daniya said the awards were given to selected farmers who have taken out loans under the program who use best agronomic practices to produce good yields, keep good records and repay their loans as expected.
However, the store manager said the ACGSF awards have been stopped for a while.
“Following the decision of the ACGSF Board of Directors to revive the ACGSF Farmers Award Program, approval was given to resume it in 2020 at both the state and national levels.
“The award promotes competition and motivates borrowers to repay their loans on time or early.
“This year’s Best Farmer of the Year awards are divided into two categories: State Farmer of the Year for loans of N1 million and below, and National Farmer of the Year for loans over N1 million.
“The Plateau Selection Committee, made up of key stakeholders, was set up to select the best farmers under the program in the state, and nominations were received from all participating financial institutions (PFIs).
“At the end of the exercise, three winners were selected.
“The criteria for selecting the best farmer’s price include: agricultural production, number of employees, credit history, loan amount, loan term and loan utilization.
“Others include repaying loans, keeping records, changing performance, and changing income, among others.” he explained.
Mrs Helen Temtseen, Head of Development Finance, CBN Jos, said the event is designed to honor three of the 2,187 farmers who borrowed under the program in 2020.
“The winner receives a plague, a certificate and a cash prize of N 100,000.
“The only goal of today’s awards show is to not only celebrate these winners, but to encourage the general public to get involved in the program.
“We are calling on other banks, particularly microfinance banks, to intervene and provide opportunities for our rural farmers to benefit from the program.
“It is disheartening to note that of the 13 deposit banks operating on the plateau, only three have participated in the ACGSF in the past, and now even those three are no longer participating.
“In addition, of the 14 microfinance banks operating on the plateau, only six took part in the program.
“That’s not good enough when you consider the benefits that accrue to banks, farmers and the economy as a whole.” She said.
DR Hosea Finangwai, the plateau’s Agriculture Commissioner, commended CBN in a message of goodwill for its efforts to motivate farmers to get into farming.
Finangwai said that Gov. Simon Lalong was passionate about agriculture and hired him (commissioner) to ensure that agriculture flourished in the state.
Mr Dabu Hajji, the 2020 award winner, a fish farmer from the Bassa local government praised the bank for giving them the loans to invest in their farms.
Haji urged the CBN to continue efforts to give more farmers access to the facility to expand their farms and increase production.