The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has concluded an intensive training workshop for farmers’ groups/cooperatives from the south-east and south-south zones of the country.
The workshop, held at the Federal Cooperative College, Orji River, Enugu State, was organised by the Rural Institutions Development division of the ministry’s Department of Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal Cooperative College, Orji River under the Department’s Rural Credit Finance Mobilisation Project.
Speaking at the event, the Director, Department of Rural Development of the ministry, Engr. F.M Olushiyan, said the workshop was aimed at strengthening and repositioning the groups to improve their access to credit from both formal and informal windows through proper and sound knowledge of financial management and enhancement of their leadership skills.
Engr. Olushiyan said a lot of untapped potentials abound in agricultural production, processing and marketing all through the commodity value chains but warned that these potentials would continue to remain potentials if the rural dwellers have no guaranteed access to credit and other financial services.
“Improved access to necessary funds would enable the farmers in production across the value chains get their inputs at the right time since agricultural activities are time bound, without relying solely on subsidized inputs from government, which are sometimes delayed,’’ he said.
Representative of the south-east regional Director of the ministry, Dr. F.O. Echor, observed that to drive sustainable growth of the rural economy, coherent, effective and implementable financial inclusion roadmap has to be in place.