By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Chairman, Oyo State Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACCOS), Sheik Taofik Akeugbagold, has disclosed the criteria being used to disburse the N1 billion loan to farmers in the state.
Akeugbagold made the disclosure during a sensitisation tour to the seven geo-political zones in the state. He said the reason for the tour was to interact and identify genuine farmers in the state.
The ACCOS chairman noted that to access the N1 billion single digit interest loan under the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER), the applicant must be a duly recognised farmer.
He stressed that the corporation will guard against giving loans to “farmers on paper.”
According to Akeugbagold, after the sensitisation exercise, application forms would be available at the office of the director of agriculture in each local government.
The chairman, who said the form can only be collected individually free of charge, stressed that ACCOS Field Officers and identified banks in each domain will be involved in the process.
He warned against buying the forms on the internet, adding that no official of the board or the Ministry of Agriculture will liaise with residents on the internet.
Akeugbagold further explained that an applicant will need a civil servant from Grade Level 07 and above as guarantor, depending on the amount of loan requested.
“We are moving round the seven zones of the state to sensitise farmers on the need and where to access the N1 billion loan under the SAfER sub-committee on food security.
“The forms would be out after the sensitisation tour and they will be available for collection free of charge through the directors of agriculture in the various councils, the identified banks and ACCOS. The form is not online.
“However, please note that group lending would not be entertained,” he said.
In his remarks, the General Manager of ACCOS, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran, said that farmers owing the board, the state government or any of the participating financial institutions would not have access, except they are cleared by the board or the participating institutions.
He stressed that the exercise would not be politicised in any way, noting that the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has equally trained farmers on climate resilience.
Ogundiran added that the government has put plans in place to enhance peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers, through continuous meetings with affected parties.