By Shuaib Sadiq
The Federal Government is to take new biometric database of 16 million farmers to enable them benefit from intervention packages during the 2017 cropping season.
The Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Prof. Danbala Danju, said this on Sunday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Trans- Sahara Consortium, Nigeria.
Danju said the Federal Government would ensure that the registered farmers received all the needed inputs and loan facilities in record time to enhance production.
He said that the move would effectively address the challenge of food security, tackle poverty and create employment opportunities for more Nigerian farmers.
“The two parties agreed to capture at least 16 million farmers into alternative multi-application payment system for farmers to access loans and conduct all their agro-businesses within their farms,’’ he said
Sen. Saminu Turaki, who signed for Trans-Sahara Consortium, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after signing the MoU, that the 16 million farmers would be registered within the next three months.
“By May, we would have registered 16 million farmers on our biometric database to enable them receive all the inputs they need before the farming season commences.
“The Trans-Sahara Consortium will provide the database through EDAPT Technologies company and finance the project,’’ he said.
He said that no fewer than 500,000 Point-of Sale (POS) devices would be made available in various locations in villages for the registered farmers to access all the needed finances and pay for their inputs right at the farms.
“EDAPT Technologies will provide the system, comprising of Bank-End-Super-Structure to house two interlinked secure server platforms.
“The objective of the MoU is to secure biometric application which will assist participating entities with a tool to collect and capture the necessary clients information (KYC) for accurate reports,’’ Turaki said.
Turaki, a former governor of Jigawa, said the multi-purpose Client-Smart-Card would store farmers’ biometric fingerprint, personal data and electronic wallets.
“It is in form of a primary wallet for banking transactions to save and receive agriculture loans and purchase pre-described inputs as agro-dealers,’’ he said.
The Trans-Sahara Consortium is promoting the partnership for the economic benefit of the two parties as proceeds would be shared based on agreed percentages. (NAN)