By Chinenyeh Ozor
No fewer than 600 yellow pepper farmers in Nsukka have been shortlisted to benefit from Central Bank of Nigeria’s agricultural loan of N900,000 each to boost yellow pepper cultivation in commercial quantity in the country.
Mr Dan Oche, Director- General, Nsukka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NCCIMA, disclosed this in Nsukka during a meeting between the chamber and farmers of yellow pepper popularly called Ose Nsukka saying that the aim was to produce the yellow pepper in commercial quantity in which about 80 per cent of it would be exported to other countries of the world.
“Nsukka Chamber of Commerce is partnering with CBN to provide funding for yellow pepper farmers so as to produce the pepper in commercial quantity that will meet local demands as well as for export.
“Each of the 600 farmers shortlisted by CBN will be credited with N900,000 after a training programme to be carried out by CBN without any collateral.
Oche said that Diamond Bank is the commercial bank to access the loan from CBN, pointing out that the beneficiaries are expected to open special account with Diamond Bank for the loan.
The D-G said the chamber has acquired large hectres of land at Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area for the yellow pepper cultivation, explaiing that each of the 600 farmers will be given a hactre to cultivate the yellow pepper.
“The chamber acquired the land to enable it monitor the farmers so that they will repay the loan at the stipulated time as the chamber stands as guarantor for the farmers.
“The CBN empowerment would create employment as each farmer is expected to employ at least three persons to assist in the farm, noting that over 630 yellow pepper farmers applied for the loan but CBN shortlisted 600 while those without any bank verification number, BVN, or incorrect BVN were not shortlisted.
Oche said that the training of shortlisted farmers on entrepreneurship, good agricultural practices and financial literacy would start on August 28 and urged farmers to give the training the highest attention it deserves as it would go a long way to contribute to their success in farming.