• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Enugu urges farmers to form co-operatives


Enugu State government has called on farmers operating in the state to form co-operative societies to enable them access loans from the N1 billion put together by the state, local government and Bank of Industry (BoI).

Governor Sullivan Chime, who disclosed this recently to the farmers and small-scale business operators in a forum organised by Sunchi Integrated Farm in Enugu, also advised them to adopt sustainable business models.

Chime, represented by Jude Akubilo, commissioner for commerce and industry, told the farmers to develop the habit of patronising home-made goods against imported ones as a way of encouraging their members. He however advised those venturing into manufacturing to make goods that would compete favourably with the imported ones.

The process involved in accessing the N1 billion fund is solely determined by the BoI and that applications could be submitted either through the SME centre at Okpala Avenue or at the BoI office in the state’s capital, he said.

“The disbursement is about to start, but it is a revolving fund and the applications will continue to be received,” he stated, emphasising the state government’s readiness to obey the SME law, which states that ‘5 percent of the total budget of the state and that of local governments yearly is dedicated for SME funding,’ saying developing SME’s was the only way out to reduce drastically the issue of unemployment in the state.

“Only very few persons can be employed in the public service; so, the purpose now is to encourage people develop in entrepreneurship and have them sustain themselves in private ownership,” the commissioner stated.

According to Akubilo, the state government viewed the trend and changes in the economy and decided to anchor most of its programmes on agricultural, human capital development and poverty reduction to ensure that every resident key into the development plan.