Agriculture is one sector of the economy that cannot dwindle as long as you have the right tools to cultivate the earth. Moreso, it is very lucrative hence the reason why so many people both young and old now find pleasure going into it. But the question to ask is if they have the needed resources to excel in it?
It is very easy to declare you want to indulge in farming but are you ready for both the monetary and manpower capabilities? Do you know the ways of getting agricultural loans given by the federal government?
This is usually a point of confusion for most would-be agricultural farmers but by thoroughly reading this article, you will be enlightened on what those relevant preconditions are and how to go about applying for one.
The truth is that these types of loans are out there but knowing where they are is of the essence.
Some of the agricultural loans the federal government gives are:
The loan given by the Central Government of Nigeria
CBN provides loans for both existing and intending farmers and the perk about this loan is that the interest rate on it is quite low. Do you know that due to the introduction of this scheme, 75 billion naira has been set aside by the government in all states so loans can be accessed? Do you know where you can get this loan? From the Bank of Agriculture.
Types of loan CBN offers are:
The Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme
Most banks have admittance to this to aid cooperative societies farmers belong to. The agricultural ventures that have admittance to this are those whose assets are at least N100 million.
To get this loan, you must participate in the following produce:
Cash crops, food crops, livestock, poultry, aquaculture, processing, marketing, storage of agrochemicals, and supplies of farm input
Real Sector Support Facility:
This is another way of getting financing for your agricultural venture. The bank rate is low and its repayment plan is long tenured for up to 15 years.
Some requirements are:
- A business plan
- Certificate of incorporation
- Apply formally
- Memorandum and Article of Association
Micro SME Development Fund
This is equally another kind of loan that businesses can access. So if you want to expand your agri-business and you need a credit facility that is low-priced, this is what you are looking for.
What you stand to gain:
- You can get an overdraft or a term loan
- A low-interest rate of 9%
Bank of Agriculture (BOA)
You may wonder what BOA is all about. How can agriculture have a bank? Well, this is one sure way the government makes loans accessible to the public. The government owns it while CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance are investors.
As an entrepreneur, here are the essentials before you can be given this loan.
- You should have partially paid 20% of the loan money
- You should have at least six months’ relationship with the bank in terms of making payments into your account no matter how small
- You should present a complete plan of your business
- There must be evidence of a physical collateral
Types of agricultural loans given by Bank of Agriculture:
Micro Credit loans:
This kind of loan can be tapped into by traders and agriculturists who are into livestock, fishery, horticulture, agro-processing etc. Both individuals and co-operative society members can benefit from such a loan.
To access this loan;
- You must make available two guarantors and must have partially paid at least 20%
- Microcredit loans must not be more than N250, 000 and must not be more than 2 years
- The bank rate is 12% annually
Grow and earn more-(gem)
This loan scheme is specifically for women to help them in areas they are finding it difficult especially in the area of financing.
What does this loan entail?
- Before any application can be done, you must have a working account with the Bank of Agriculture office that is in close proximity to where your project is for at least 3 months
- You can only access N1 million at 14% annually
- The loan you will get will be based on your type of project
- You must present two guarantors and have partially paid 10%
- Presentation of collateral is not needed
- The interest rate is 14%
Loan application for SME (Individuals)
- Here, individuals can get loans up to N5, 000, 000 as long as your projects are agriculturally based
- Presentation of collateral is compulsory
For the loans that can be gotten from the Bank of Agriculture, what is needed to open an account with them are:
- Account opening form must be updated and signed
- Updated mandate
- A letter to the bank already signed
- Any means of identification (photocopy)
- Photocopy of the latest utility bill
- Latest passport photographs (3)
- Part payment of at least N3, 000
- Letter of set-off already signed
Loans from commercial banks:
Another place to get agricultural loans is from commercial banks and they can offer you loans based on your preference. They have for a long duration, short duration and medium duration. These terms of loans have their various criteria. Examples of such banks are First Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Union and UBA.
To access loans from them;
- You ought to have an account with them
- Apply and present an application for the loan
- Out of the overall money you want, make a part payment of 10%
- Present a collateral
- Present a complete plan of your business as well as your business’ viability study
Agricultural co-operative societies:
If you belong to any of these co-operatives, you have the opportunity of getting grants which are provided by banks.
To access these grants:
- Be a member of any of the co-operatives
- Apply to the bank using the letterhead of the co-operative which should be appended by a representative
- Present a complete viability study on your venture
If you do not know which co-operative to join, here are some:
- All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN);
- Youth Empowerment in the Agricultural Program (YEAP);
I am sure you have noticed that the prerequisites of all of them are similar so it will not be difficult to apply and fulfil them when the time comes.
The federal government has done all it can to better the lives of entrepreneurs and from these lists, you can now see that federal agricultural loans are many and you have all the right to access them. So what are you waiting for? Do not let your dreams die but rather avail yourself of these opportunities and make it work.