Agriculture

GIZ, IFAD train VCDP farmers in Niger on financial literacy

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The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will train 2,000 farmers in Niger on financial literacy.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the farmers were drawn from the 16,000 farmers currently participating in the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) for rice and cassava in the state.

Mr Mathew Adetunji, GIZ representative made this known while opening a four-day training for the farmers on Monday in Minna.

Adetunji said that the training would enable the farmers know the necessary steps in accessing financial services around them.

“Over 60 per cent of farmers across Nigeria are not financially literate. This situation had caused them to lose opportunities to access loans.

“That is why we are training farmers in Niger State in farmers financial cycle. It is about having the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their finances wisely.

“We realized that most of the farmers do not know how to access financial services. The financial literacy of farmers in Nigeria is about 45 per cent,” he said.

Adetunji said that the training would enlighten the farmers on the formal financial services and products available to them.

Dr Mathew Ahmed, the state Coordinator, IFAD-VCDP said farmers would be linked to financial institutions after the training where they could access soft loans.

“Farmers are always complaining that they are unable to access credit and they cannot do agriculture without having credit facilities advanced to them.

“We will link them with financial institutions and track the way the loans are utilised,” Ahmed said.

He said financially literate would help the farmers save money for the future, borrow money responsibly, invest wisely and make informed decisions regarding financial products and services.

“The knowledge, skills and confidence gained during the course will help them expand their agri-business and other aspects of their lives,” Ahmed said.

He urged the farmers to look at agriculture as a business, adding that they should utilize the various financial windows provided by government.

“You need to change your mindset of seeing farming as anything other than a business. If you do not take agriculture as a business, you will find it difficult to get loans,” Ahmed said.

Hajiya Fati Abdullahi, a farmer, who thanked the GIZ and IFAD for the gesture, said that the training would increase her financial management skills.
OCU/ORO/IS

Edited by Razak Owolabi/Ismail Abdulaziz

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