• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG grants soft loans to resuscitate moribund sugar coys

FG looks to sugar production for foreign exchange, job creation

sugarbag1

Dr Latif Busari, the Executive Secretary of  National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), said on Thursday that the Federal Government had begun giving soft loans to declining sugar companies across the country, to resuscitate their production.

“Sugar industries in states such as Oyo, Osun, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto, among others, were connected with banks to provide them with soft loans’’, he said.

Busari said that N280,000 was given out for a hectare of land cultivated by the sugar growers of Savannah Sugar Company in Adamawa and other companies across the country.

He explained that this was the cost of producing sugarcane per hectare of land the sugar growers cultivated.

Read also: Banks lending to SMEs, retail sector to increase in 2015

Busari said that sugarcane growers were now producing more products since the financial assistance was extended to them.

According to him, other incentives such as fertilisers, good seedlings to prepare their own nurseries and farming machinery are being extended to the farmers by the Federal Government.

Busari noted that in order to make sugarcane growers’ work easier, NSDC encouraged them to form cooperative societies so that they could attract loans easily from the banks.

He explained that NSDC as well assisted the sugarcane growers to enter into financial agreements with financial institutions for assistance.

He said that the Savannah Sugar Company had been moribund but since it started getting assistance from the government, its sugarcane field had increased from two hectares to six hectares.

Busari added that the company now produced 20 to 50 tons of sugar, adding that it would soon produce 100,000 tons of sugar annually.

He said that the company had only 50 sugarcane outgrowers but currently had about 500 workers because its factory had expanded to accommodate more people.

Busari added that sugar companies such as Hadejia, Sunti, Oyo, Osun, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto were now being renovated and expanded due to government’s intervention.