The American University of Nigeria (AUN) and a Yola-based bank, Standard Microfinance Bank, have signed an agreement to disburse cash and agricultural inputs to vulnerable returnee farmers in Maiha, Mubi North, and Mubi South Local Government Areas of Adamawa State.
The intervention is being funded by German international aid agency, GIZ-R, through AUN’s Atiku Center to improve the resilience of farmers within communities in the stated local government areas which were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Backstory: The intervention began in August of 2018 and will run up to March 2020 in the three LGAs.
- Funding is being channeled through Standard Microfinance Bank to ensure sustainability and accountability.
- The bank will manage and disburse the N54 million for 900 farmers who will be able to access the funds through accounts they will open with SMB.
A representative of GIZ-R, Muyiwa Olowe, explained why a bank is being used to manage the funds.
- To avoid giving money directly to the farmers so they do not spend it given their situations.
- They can always use their accounts to save their proceeds and access more support from the bank.
- “They will be creating some sort of self- sufficiency for themselves,” he said.
AUN President Dr. Dawn Dekle, who was one of the signatories, said the project will help build the agricultural industry in North-East Nigeria, especially Adamawa State where farmers will be able to access loans, receive training, and become accountable.
- “This is the beginning of a relationship we are going to have with the farmers and the agricultural industry, and the American University of Nigeria is really glad to be the platform to allow this to happen.”
Mr. V. M Francis, the CEO of Standard Microfinance Bank added that both AUN and the bank have worked on similar projects in the past to empower internally displaced people, and hopes that this will be a long-term relationship between AUN, the bank, and the farmers.