The newly approved Joint Farmers Microfinance Bank, JFMfB, is set to commence operations in August from Oyo State.
A top official of the bank told newsmen at the weekend that the bank will target farmers who are into animal husbandry as well as farm produce traders.
According to him, the vision of the bank is to spread to the entire South West, South East and South South and later cover the whole country so as to alleviate the bottleneck associated with accessing agric loan from commercial banks.
He stated: “We are not focusing only on farmers that cultivate cassava, maize or cocoa, we are also looking at farmers that are into animal husbandry, beyond that, we are also looking at the market women that sell farm produce. The bank accommodates everyone connected to agriculture in one way or the other.”
He revealed that the bank is being established to address identified problems of finance faced by the farmers, stating: “We have looked into the need of the farmers because we found that finance is a major challenge to the farmers. When they go to the commercial banks or other banks, it is always difficult for them to obtain loans.
“So if we have our own bank, we would be able to service our farmers as at when due. There is a lot of bottlenecks in taking agricultural loan from commercial banks. Even when we want to access loan from the federal government and we go through the commercial banks, by the time the loan is out it would be getting toward end of the year when the farming season is over.
“But we know that when we have our own bank, we have control over the fund, farmers and the planting season. Loans would be able to come out as at when needed so that farmers can be able to go to the farm early enough and be able to make good profit.
“Farmers MfB is kicking off from Oyo State, and the plan is that it would spread to the entire South West, South East and South South. It is something that would cover the whole Nigeria. That is the vision we have, but we have to start from somewhere though we have plan to spread all over Nigeria so that we can be able to help all the farmers across the country,” the operator said.