|A woman weeding her vegetable farm
Peasant farmers in Nigeria can now cultivate their annual crops with ease as Sterling Bank’s loan to farmers can aid in acquiring seedlings, fertilizer, herbicides and pay for the cost of soil preparations and weeding of the planted crops.
Sterling Bank took a giant step about three years ago to provide farmers funds with which they could use in financing the cultivation of crops. The fund is made available as a loan to any group of farmers will to cultivate specified crops.
The loan is not an individual loan but farmers are required to form cooperatives in order to access the funds.
Eligibility criteria for accessing the loan
1. Farmers must form cooperatives within their communities. This is because during inspection of the farmlands the inspection team may be able to locate the farmlands of a particular cooperative in one community.
2. All participating farmers must open an account with the Sterling Bank.
3. Each farmer is required to make equity contribution of N25,000 which represents 10% of the loan amount.
4. The cooperative must be at least one year old.
5. There’s no collateral required for the loan however farmers are mandated to reference themselves.
How to apply
1. Cooperatives must write to the bank expressing their interest in the facility.
2. Fill and submit cooperative members list.
3. Fill and submit the Loan application form.
Disbursement of the fund
Once all the above criteria is met, the bank will review all applications and if approved funds will be paid in the accounts of the beneficiaries.
The moratorium of the loan is six months after which it will be repaid on monthly installments.