Fidelity Bank Plc hasÂ tidied up an arrangement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Olam Nigeria Limited that will boost the production volume of Sesame seed and rice in Nigeria for export.
The partnership, one of several initiatives the bank has embarked upon to become a leader in Agric-financing in Nigeria will galvanize farmers into large scale farming in Katsina, Jigawa, Benue, Anambra and Ebonyi States.The first phase of the partnership will see the farmers from these five states benefit from prudent distribution of the sum of N500m under the agricultural credit scheme to ensure an increase in the production of rice and sesame seed this planting season.
â€œThe most interesting thing about this project is not necessarily the volume of funds that will be pumped into agriculture this season. Rather, it is that the project is actually an Out Grower Schemeâ€, observed a source from Fidelity Bank Plc.According to him, an Out Grower Scheme is a contractual arrangement that ensures that a farmerâ€™s produce is solely meant for an industrial end-user who is on standby to buy them. â€œUnder this arrangement, the farmer works with greater certainty and assurance that there is a waiting demand for his produce at a profit while the industrial user is more certain of a osteady supply of raw materialsâ€, explained the source.
Fidelity Bank has also been the prime mover in the efforts by Nasarawa State to mechanize farming in the state, injecting massive funding to boost the stateâ€™s tractor acquisition scheme which will be due for commissioning in the very near future.
It would be recalled that Fidelity Bank had made a bold entry into agric-financing in May this year when it rolled out four remarkable financial products under its Agri Nigeria Initiative aimed at creating a whole new generation of agri-business entrepreneurs.
The Products under the Fidelity Agri Nigeria initiative are the Trust Fund Facility which funds inputs needs of companies and high net-worth individuals engaged in agric businesses as specified by the Central bank of Nigeria.
The Self-Help Facility component of the Initiative seeks to fund inputs needs of individuals and informal groups engaged in CBN allowable agric businesses.
The Co-operative Union Facility element of the Initiative is aimed at providing the funding needs of formal cooperatives engaged in CBN allowable agric business, while the fourth one, the Agric Lease Facility, is to support the acquisition of fixed assets required for agric business.The products are characterized by low interest rates, flexible repayment plan and other incentives