Seven graduates of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State have benefitted from the institution’s Agric Graduate Loan Scheme.
The loan, which ranges from N120, 000 to N400, 000 each was meant to undertake businesses in fish production, poultry and pig farming, cassava production, egg, palm oil and Agri input sales and marketing.
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The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, in a chat with journalists to mark his first 100 days in office, said the loan scheme was launched to produce self-sufficient graduate farmers.
He disclosed that the loan scheme, initiated by the MOUAU Extension Center (MEC) had faltered and went into comatose due to lack of funds few years after it came into being, but was revived and funded by his administration.
Iwe said: “Immediately I was pronounced the VC, I set my mind on opening up the university’s vast land for farming purposes and reached out to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and requested assistance to enable us open up farms by clearing 400 hectares of land.
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He identified financial constraints as a major challenge delaying the disbursement; adding that they have also started exploring alternative sources of funds, as they await the funds from the Federal Government.