Unlike the yesteryears, our new economy has now become one that is crazed by oil and oil politics, and little is even left behind for agriculture.
Gone are the days when agriculture used to be the main and major driver of the Nigerian economy and the green white green really did stand for something. Today, the Nigerian agricultural sector is a shadow of its old self but that does not mean it is still not thriving, and now is the time to, more than ever, delve into the agricultural business because the forecasts on oil aren’t promising at all.
Having said that, a lot of entrepreneurs would agree with me that funding is one of the major problems faced by start-ups and even, established agribusinesses these days.
What is then the best way to get proper funding for your agricultural projects?
Today, we are going to be suggesting some of the best routes that you can go through to get funding to successfully kick-start your project.
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1. Personal Savings
To get any funding for your project, your personal savings should be the first place you should look at. A dedicated entrepreneur who has a business future planned for themselves would have seen this as their obligation in the first place and started saving. This is why it is always good to have a savings plan and account on the ground that you can easily and swiftly access. Before the main business kicks off, your savings can help to offset a lot of initial costs.
2. Bank of Agriculture
If you had no idea that this existed, well then, welcome to the club of the newly inducted. Yearly, the Central bank of Nigeria in conjunction with other banks release funds that are always in excess of 200 billion Naira to the Bank of Agriculture which would then be given out in loans to various farmers who need it.
As with other financial institutions, you must have had an account dated at least 6 months with the BOA and must have at least 20% of the amount you wish to borrow in savings. Their interest rates are also favorable to you
3. Co-operative societies
Co-operative societies are like the agricultural insurance plan and if you are an active member, you could always fall back on them whenever you need help. Also, being part of a bigger organization like these societies would make it easy for you to gain access to grants that have been released to them. The more active you are as a member, the more of these grants would land in your laps.
4. Youth Business Initiatives
Youth Business initiatives are mainly for start-ups. This is because rather than give you the money that you need, they would be glad to provide you with input needed for your farm so that you start faster
Now, before you take out a loan from any commercial bank, you need to be sure that they are farmer-friendly in the first place.
Banks such as UBA and FirstBank have special loan plans for farmers and these are advised overtaking normal business loans. The interest rates are lower and the payment structure is even more friendly.
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So, friend, you have all the funding sources already. It is time to go green!
Over to you, tell us what you think using the comment box below