NIRSAL: We facilitated N148 billion in agricultural investments in 2020

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) says it made available over N30 billion to the country’s agricultural value chains in the last 13 months.

NIRSAL’s Managing Director, Aliyu Abdulhameed, who said this during an interactive media session, noted that although the institution was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, it remained operational.

“In the course of the last 13 months, we facilitated the flow of over N30 billion into agricultural value chains from commercial banks and other sources. Even though our operations suffered a stall during the lockdown of 2020, our technological depth gave us a pathway to return to work while remaining safe and socially-distanced,” Mr. Abdulhameed noted.

NIRSAL is a non-bank financial institution owned by the Central Bank of Nigeria, established in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee in 2013.

The company said as of the fourth-quarter 2020 (Q4 2020), it facilitated over N148 billion in finance and investments for agriculture and agribusiness and aggregated over 3,000 agro geo-cooperatives with 500,000 farmers on nearly 800,000 hectares of land.

It added that 1.4 million persons were enrolled in “innovative” insurance products designed by NIRSAL in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.”

Speaking further, Mr. Abdulhameed disclosed that 1.4 million persons enrolled in innovative insurance products designed by NIRSAL in collaboration with a consortium of agricultural insurance underwriters.

NIRSAL mentioned that it aimed to curb post-harvest losses in Nigeria and create efficient routes for commodity movement and storage.

In that regard, Mr. Adulhameed announced that the firm was engaging with and supporting the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment in developing a policy on Secured Agricultural Commodity Transport and Storage Corridors (SATS-C).

“We have grown our balance sheet to N140 billion; our equity by 1,415 percent and our total assets by 87 percent. The number of farmers we have worked with has also grown, especially as we fully unveiled our Agro Geo-Cooperative model in the outgone year,” the NIRSAL boss added.

Also, he has commended media practitioners for their support and acknowledged their challenges as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even though we have faced it too, courtesy demands that I offer my solidarity, given that your platforms were overrun by COVID-19 news; something that you are not used to and would rather not be writing about,” he added.

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