In effort to assist small and medium scale farmers to grow, Government at Federal and State levels sometime provide small business grants in various forms. These funds can be accessed by those who meet certain criteria as stipulated by the government or the agencies involved.
How can you have access to these small business grants to help you start your business or expand your existing business?
- Have a Business Plan: You must have a robust business plan in place. Without proper business plan, there is no way you can be able to convince anybody about your business idea let alone government. Your business plan represent your preparedness towards the business. In other words, the more robust your plan is, the more serious investors and grantors will take you.
- Belong to a Co-operative society: Most times, those funds are being disbursed through various cooperative societies. If you don’t belong to any, you may not be able to get the fund. There are various cooperative societies for Farmers, processors, marketers, etc. Find the one that is most suited to your need and join. Make sure you are an active member and always partake in the progress of the society.
The Bank of Agriculture of Nigeria is the major avenue the government has employed to disburse loans and grant to the public. The bank is owned by the federal government, with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance incorporated as shareholders. The activities of the bank are supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development. When thinking of government loans, the BOA should be your first choice.
The Specific Requirements for Bank of Agriculture (BOA) Loans
- You must have maintained a minimum customer account relationship of about six months
- You must have deposited at least 20% of the required loan amount into the account
- You must provide collateral, excluding land.
- You must provide a detailed business plan.