GOVERNORÂ Ikedi Ohakim of Imo has called on commercial banks to relax their agricultural loan conditions to enable more farmers benefit from the federal government’s N200 billion Agricultural Intervention Fund. Ohakim, who made the call in Owerri on Saturday at a forum organised for farmers in the state, said unless the conditions were relaxed, most small-scale farmers would not access the fund.
The Governor, who was represented at the occasion by his Deputy, Dr Ada Okwuonu, also urged farmers to take advantage of the fund to expand their farms.
He said the state government had revolutionalised agriculture, adding that the success achieved was what led to the recognition of Imo as a fish and rice-producing state.
Ohakim noted that it was because of the recognition of governmentâ€™s effort that UN-sponsored Chinese experts in fish and rice production, were deployed to the state recently by the federal government.
He said the experts were expected to give technical advice to farmers on rice production and fishery.Also speaking, the Secretary of Imo Agricultural Loan Board, Mr Nwiwu Nwaiwu, said the state government had produced and forwarded to CBN, all the documents that would enable farmers in the state access the fund. Nwaiwu, who said that 145 small-scale farmers had applied for the loan, noted that initially, majority of the applicants did not supply documents that would facilitate the consideration of their requests.UBA and First Bank made presentations on how farmers could access the fund.