The general lack of or inadequate capital available to farmers and other entrepreneurs to engage in production activities especially in the rural areas is one significant problem NANTS have identified among the real sector in Nigeria. For this reason, NANTS therefore introduced the micro-credit scheme to support her members and boast their incomes. This success of this scheme attracted Oxfam’s partnership which is presently augmenting the funds provided for farmers. The micro-credit intervention of NANTS started in 2008 and has so far covered many communities in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Nassarawa, Niger, Imo, Kaduna states and the FCT. Over 3,400 farmers have so benefited from the NANTS micro-credit scheme.
NANTS administers micro-credit only after potential beneficiaries have undergone selection based on their level of poverty/needs assessment and consequently trained to enable them effectively utilize the loan. This training/capacity building component is to ensure that beneficiaries do not divert such credits to other irrelevant needs or investments other than the ones expressed in their business. The training is on farm accounting, input costing, financial management which prepares them for eligibility to accessing the micro-credit funds.
A Memorandum of Understanding is always signed between NANTS and the leadership of the beneficiary Cooperatives in the presence of their community and religious leaders who also act as guarantors and collateral. NANTS Farmers’ Cooperative in Zaria and Kubau Local Governments of Kaduna State are the latest beneficiaries. The table below shows the total number of micro-credit beneficiaries as distributed in Kubau and Zaria LGAs.