July 26, 2022 Press Release

Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has commended Unity Bank Plc, for its role in facilitating the financing of maize production by smallholder farmers in the country through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The President of MAAN, Dr. Bello Abubakar, gave the commendation while delivering an address at the official unveiling of 21 maize pyramids in Kaduna last week. Abubakar said Unity Bank has proved to be a trusted and reliable partner of Nigerian maize farmers in their journey to boost the capacity of maize production in the country.

“What we celebrate today would have been impossible without our finance partner, Unity Bank. The Bank has been a reliable partner in the journey and we shall continue to partner to greater heights,” Abubakar said.

Through Unity Bank’s strategic partnership with the maize farmers under the ABP, maize production output has risen to 11 million metric tonnes from 10.1 million metric tonnes in 2014.

As a major financial institution partner of the ABP, the bank has facilitated the disbursement of billions of naira to at least 4.52 million smallholder farmers across the various commodity value chains. This includes an additional 120,000 maize farmers reached in 2021 alone, a statement by the bank said.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Unity Bank, Oluwatomi Somefun, said the lender remains committed to its strategic partnership with maize farmers to support their capacity to sustain sufficiency in maize production.

She said: “When we say that we are farmers’ best friends, we walk our talk. And I am glad that the association appreciates the invaluable support that we provide by facilitating the financing of their activities. As a Bank, we are driven by the overarching objectives of the federal government to drive food sufficiency, while creating the much-needed jobs for sustainable development.”

Since its launch in 2015, the central bank has, through the ABP programme, disbursed a total of 975.61 billion to over 4.52 million smallholder farmers, who have cultivated 21 commodities across the country. The fund is for the procurement of inputs and cultivation of maize, rice and wheat.