By Justina Asishana – Minna
Two thousand farmers are currently being trained on financial literacy in order to enable farmers access financial services around them across Niger state.
The training is conducted by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme.
According to the GIZ Representative, Mathew Adetunji, over 60 per cent of farmers across Nigeria are not financial literate, a situation which he said had caused them to lose opportunities to access loans.
“We are training farmers in Niger state in farmers financial cycle. Financial literacy is having the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their finance wisely. We realized that most of three farmers do not know how to access financial services.
“The financial literacy of farmers in Nigeria is about 45 per cent. This training would enlighten farmers on the formal financial services and products to be accessed.”
The Niger state Coordinator of IFAD, Dr. Mathew Ahmed said that the farmers would be linked to financial institutions where they can get soft loans to enhance their agriculture business.
“Farmers are always complaining that they are unable to access credit and one cannot do agriculture without having credit facilities advanced to them. We will link them with financial institutions and track the way the loans are utilized.”
Ahmed said that being financial 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 put in many aspects of their lives.”
He charged the farmers to look at agriculture as a business adding that they should also utilize the various financial windows that the government has made available to farmers.
“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.”