SEIFAC enlightens members on modus operandi, awaits CBN disbursement

SEIFAC enlightens members on modus operandi, awaits CBN disbursement

… reads riot acts on cluster membership

The National Programme Coordinator of Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC), Mr. Patrick Abur has enlightened members on the modus operandi of the cooperative.

The Coordinator while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday cautioned members to be law abiding to reap the benefits of the Organization as he exposed them to the advantages of cluster farmers.

Abur appealed to members to exercise patience as the management has played it’s part by fulfilling the guidelines of  Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) while waiting for disbursement any moment soon.

He said “we have strong believe that the disbursement will be made in due course noting that SEIFAC on its part as a facilitator has fulfilled all the criteria enshrined in the CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme Guidelines. This however calls for unwavering patience on the part of our members.”

The SEIFAC boss emphasized that their major objectives is to organize the Nigerian Smallholder Farmers who are scattered, less informed and ravaged by hunger and poverty like a stranded sheep without a herd and flock.”

According to him a group of Smallholder Farmers analyzed the worrisome situation of the Nigerian Smallholder Farmers and came up with the strategy of cluster farming called Agricultural Production Cluster (Agro-PC) having understudied the concept from developed and developing countries for a good number of years and believed on the adoption of same in the Nigerian context shall proffer a lasting solution to the plights of the Smallholder Farmers which the prototype domiciled the ownership of SEIFAC and her members.

He said “SEIFAC has carefully analyzed and reviewed the trend of agriculture globally and has come to the conclusion that agriculture in the twenty-first century is reinventing itself as a new global business reshaped by globalization, standardization, high-value production, massive growth in demand (both for the food and the biofuel industries), retail and packaging innovations, and a ramp up in efficiency.

Faced with constant productivity and market pressures, the ‘new agriculture’ needs tools to enhance its competitiveness and innovation capacity.

He explained that one of these tools is the promotion of clusters; An agro-based cluster (AC) simply a concentration of producers, agribusinesses and institutions that are engaged in the same agricultural or agro-industrial sub-sector, interconnect and build value networks when addressing common challenges and pursuing common opportunities.

Cluster Farming initiatives are starting to be seen as a key approach to help advance the agricultural sector of many countries. The promotion or inducement of such clusters has various advantages relative to other approaches. In particular, cluster approaches recognize that all the actors in the agricultural value chain are often more innovative and successful when they interact with supporting institutions and other actors in the supply chain.

By promoting vertical and horizontal links between local agricultural enterprises, as well as supporting relationships between them and facilitating organizations (e.g. local governments, research institutes and universities), cluster policies promote the diffusion of innovation, as well as the use and generation of important local externalities. Cluster Farming can also enhance access to credit facilities, machinery, quality inputs, advisory and extension services, storage and processing and markets.

Cluster policies are argued to be crucial for small-scale farmers and agribusiness, as they enable them to engage in higher productivity, and more market oriented and higher value-added production. Accordingly, central and local governments have discovered that cluster farming promotion is a valuable tool to support agricultural enterprises in their territory and help them link to global agricultural value chains in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

Vision

To attain ‘self-food sufficiency’, peaceful and prosperous, effective and cohesive Nigeria by the Smallholder Farmers community.

To position the smallholder farmers on a pedestal in which the Smallholder Farmer would benefit from every intervention performance.

To augment the incremental incomes of Smallholder Farmers by helping them to increase their crop productivity through the proper organization of farmers into viable cooperatives who on extension shall go into cluster farming and educate them on the importance of agriculture being the economic mainstream of any developing nation. Lead them into forming enterprise base clusters to gain group dynamics and internal economies of scale.

SEIFAC’s aim is to make these clusters/cooperative societies to become economically and democratically strong for professionalized services to the farming community to ensure an empowered rural Nigeria and Africa at large by lifting the Smallholder Farmers out of avoidable poverty.

To promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural prosperity through effective organization of Smallholder Farmers to attain self-efficiency and democracy in accessing external credit support, related services, institutional development and other innovative initiatives.

Mission

To enable the Nigerian Smallholder Farmers to prosper through timely supply of reliable, high quality agricultural inputs and services in an environmentally sustainable manner and to undertake other activities to improve their welfare”.

To represent, lobby, mobilize, organize, manage and advocate for Smallholder Farmers’ interest and build their capacities to engage in crop enterprises that would be to their best interest. To organize Smallholder Farmers to farm in clusters to leverage on the collective internal economies of scale of cluster dynamics.

Overall Objectives

SEIFAC is a multi-crops producer, processor and marketing Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative that connects Smallholder Farmers that cultivate these crops namely Rice, Maize, Sesame, Cassava, Yam, Groundnuts, Bambaranuts, Sorghum, Soybean and Wheat in the states of the Federation and FCT Abuja, to farm in clusters and to leverage on the collective internal economies of scale of cluster dynamics in order to lift themselves out of avoidable poverty.

SEIFAC as a cooperative offers its members a competitive and economical enterprise financing platform coupled with financial advisory services that are tailored to each individual cluster enterprise which makes it easy for a common Smallholder Farmer to easily understand the loan, which are transparently administered timely according to the SEIFAC Cropping Calendar for each of the enterprises for both wet and dry cropping seasons. This offering has been expanded to include the SEIFAC approach to the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme which ordinarily some farmers have jeopardized in the time past and still ongoing by not repaying back their loans. With the SEIFAC convenient debt recovery methodology, SEIFAC has a guaranteed and convenient access to funding which her members tend to benefit from the commitment, knowledge, innovations, methodology and specifically SEIFAC’s group dynamisms of cluster farming focused on the welfare of its rural poor smallholder farmers whose livelihood wholly depends on their farm enterprises.

What then is the CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in line with its developmental functions as enshrined in Section 31 of the CBN Act 2007, established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to create economic links between smallholder farmers (SHFs) and reputable companies (anchors) involved in the production and processing of key agricultural commodities. The core of the Programme is to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bill towards conservation of foreign reserve.

Features of the Programme

Loan Limit; The maximum loan limit for each eligible farmer under the Programme, shall be decided based on CBN ratified Economics of Production (EOP) and validated land size.

Interest Rate

The Programme shall be administered at the prevailing interest rate for intervention funds as prescribed by the CBN from time to time.

Tenor; The tenor of loans under the Programme shall be based on the gestation period of the targeted commodity.

Repayment; Repayment shall be by produce and/or cash as may be prescribed by the CBN. The loans granted under the Programme shall be fully repaid within the tenor of the facility. Where the facility was accessed through a Commodity Association, the leadership of the Association shall be responsible for full repayment of facility granted to its members.

Collateral Requirements; The collateral requirements for Commodity Associations/Cooperatives (SEIFAC) under the Programme shall be as stipulated below:

(i) Joint and cross-guarantee of members; (ii) Equity contribution by the farmers of a minimum of 10 per cent of the loan amount as lien with the PFI; (iii) Salary domiciliation of beneficiaries for workers cooperatives; iv. Personal guarantees of the leadership (Executives and Board of Trustees) supported by individual statements of net worth; (v) Executed Global Standing Instruction (GSI) mandate; (vi) Title on farmland; (vii) All assets debenture which shall be registered with NCR.

Eligibility Criteria – Smallholder Farmer

Smallholder Farmer shall: (i) be a member of a farmer group; (ii) have a bank account with the PFI; (iii) provide a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN); (iv) not be a defaulting borrower; (v) have a validated farmland; (vi). provide 10 per cent minimum equity contribution; (vii) not participate under multiple associations in one cropping season.

Commodity Association (SEIFAC) shall:

Be duly registered by relevant government agencies; (ii) have a corporate governance structure in line with the Programme’s objectives at all levels; (iii) present off-taker(s) for the produce; (iv) champion a single commodity; (v) identify a PFI to partner with; (vi) ensure repayment of the facility.

SEIFAC’s Implementation Strategy

The cumbersomeness involved in chasing individual beneficiaries who farm on their respective pieces of land as beneficiaries under ABP over loan recovery has always ended in a loss. In a bit to curtail this dilemma, SEIFAC has adopted the cluster farming approach as the best farming methodology on the ABP implementation where SEIFAC Member Farmers will have to farm on contiguous piece(s) of land spanning several thousands of hectares depending on the availability of land at such cluster location.

Under this farming approach, the government/communities/farmers make available land for its indigenes/members to farm in a contiguous piece of land to enjoy internal economies of scale like the commercial farmers do. With this, the Smallholder Farmers will be able to overcome their peculiar challenge of non-payment of loans which will earn them credit worthiness as individuals and collectively as a cooperative society. In this model, the best agronomic practices are implored on managing the clusters which brings about increase in the Smallholder Farmers’ yields.

The Coordinator stated the advantages of cluster farming approach include but not limited to the followings: (1) Farming on contiguous piece(s) of land (2) Mechanized Farming System which takes away associated drudgery thus makes farming attractive to both the old and youths (3) Use of Quality Planting Materials and Farm Inputs that increases crops yields (4) Reduced production and transaction costs (5) Lower premium of risk.

The world over, cluster farming has brought a paradigm shift in which agriculture is no more considered as a thing of the poor or a cultural thing but a very lucrative business that supply and demand can never be at equilibrium giving the demographics of the global population.

The appraised position and mandate of SEIFAC in galvanizing and ensuring that beneficiaries of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme under its (SEIFAC’s) auspices revealed the scope and parameters of the CBN’s guidelines and SEIFAC’s conformity to it.

It is crystal that SEIFAC has not gone beyond or fallen short in the scope of requirements in the implementation of its objectives and programmes under the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’s Programme, but has rather, dutifully ensured that its subscribers benefit from the initiative of the Federal Government through its platform as a facilitator.

“Though, the bulk of the work rests on the table of CBN. It goes without saying that if CBN does not disburse (which will most likely be in kind), SEIFAC as a facilitator has little or nothing to do.

The management will also wish to refer her members to conduct a quick review on SEIFAC at www.seifac.org where you may understand that SEIFAC is implementing the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme an agricultural expansion programme of apex bank – CBN launched in 2015.

CBN is the sole financer of the ABP and until CBN disburses (CBN’s disbursement under ABP is in kind (inputs) and not in cash (money) SEIFAC as a  cooperative is just a platform for accessing the loan facility in this instance. For more detailed information, go to Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) Guidelines (Revised Guidelines) September, 2021. This information is available on Google search engine.

SEIFAC BEGINS ATM CARDS DISTRIBUTION MONDAY NEXT WEEK

SEIFAC BEGINS ATM CARDS DISTRIBUTION MONDAY NEXT WEEK

Jubilation awaits members of Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) as the management has concluded plans to distribute their long-awaited Automated Teller Machine (ATM) customized cards Monday next week.

The cards will be distributed between Monday 31/01/2022 to Monday 21/02/2022 respectively.

This is contained in a circular signed by the National Programme Coordinator of SEIFAC, Mr. Patrick Abur and made available to the media on Friday.

According to the circular SEIFAC Cooperators are to visit their respective SEIFAC LGA Desk Office or Agent location with their proof of Identity Cards and NGN500.00 (Five Hundred Naira) only as stipend for logistics cost for collection of the SEIFAC Co-Branded ATM Cards.

The statement disclosed that the card maintenance fee charge deduction on SEIFAC cooperators’ accounts is as a result of the card was been issued and is handed to a vendor for co-branding after which the sorting of the cards for distribution. And considering the number of cards involved meeting up with such logistics requires a lot of time hence the delay in the distribution of the cards.

“After we ensure the total delivery of the produced cards then we shall execute the bulk activation of the cards for our respective cooperators dashboard to start transaction with accounts and await the disbursement effectiveness of SEIFAC”.

The SEIFAC Co-Branded Cards for states like Gombe, Sokoto, Borno, Abia, Enugu, Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Imo, and Ebonyi States are still undergoing various stages of logistics and shall be released in next batches of Card Distribution.

The Coordinator called on those who have not activated their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account Number (SPWAN) can do so within the timeframe to benefit and to those who are awaiting the opening of their SPWAN by Heritage Bank PLC should exercise patience to the end of first quarter of the year.

SEIFAC CAUTIONS MEMBERS AGAINST SCAMMERS

SEIFAC CAUTIONS MEMBERS AGAINST SCAMMERS

Information will be sent through individual members’ dashboards – Coordinator

The management of Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) has taken drastic measures to stringently curtail the activities of fraudsters and scammers trying to dupe members of the Cooperative through social media and SMS. This is contained in a statement signed by the National Programme Coordinator of SEIFAC, Mr. Patrick Abur, and made available to the media on Sunday.Mr. Abur revealed that SEIFAC will henceforth pass information peculiar to each member on their respective dashboard via their profile on the SEIFAC portal, therefore members are expected to disregard any text or an email message sent to them that they did not solicit from SEIFAC or Heritage Bank Plc to avoid being scammed by scammers under the disguise of SEIFAC or Heritage Bank Plc.

The Coordinator has warned his members to be wary of all messages not demanded from SEIFAC or its PFI Heritage Bank as any message they receive anywhere bearing the name of SEIFAC or Heritage Bank they should kindly confirm that on the SEIFAC website www.seifac.org/news – the only authorized source for SEIFAC news if not found on the SEIFAC site members and the general public are advised to kindly disregard such messages and the instructions therein and report to SEIFAC.The SEIFAC boss stressed that the management is synergizing with the Security operatives to clamp down on the activities of the culprits.So far the report SEIFAC has from the security operative on the scamming of SEIFAC cooperators is that the scammer(s) are opportunistic and new entrants and they are silently working with Flutterwave, Paystack, and other payment systems to engulf the perpetrators.In a bid of giving quality services to the people, the National Programme Coordinator called on members to always reach out to SEIFAC for support through the Support Centre on 08132385944 and the contact page on the website as the only authorized sources for getting updates on the activities of the organization.

BE WARY OF FRAUDSTERS, SEIFAC WARNS MEMBERS

BE WARY OF FRAUDSTERS, SEIFAC WARNS MEMBERS

In a bid to avoid falling victims to scammers, the management of  Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) has taken a proactive step by cautioning her members to ignore any loan approval by SMS, email, and on social media, any loan approval by SMS, email, and on social media, while the ugly situation has been reported to the appropriate security authorities to clamp down on the perpetrators of this ill art.

This is contained in a statement duly signed by the National Programme Coordinator of SEIFAC, Mr. Patrick Abur, and made available to the media on Thursday.

The statement reads ” Any loan approval message either by SMS, email and social media are fake as such message doesn’t emanate from SEIFAC.

” We are appealing to you to be careful not to fall prey in the hands of fraudsters with miscreants activities as SEIFAC will never ask her members to pay money into any other account apart from their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account”.

The Programme Coordinator called on members to reach SEIFAC through the Support Team with the contact 08132385944 and to always visit the SEIFAC website on www.seifac.org as the only authorized means of getting updates on the activities of the organization.

Meanwhile, the SEIFAC boss has notified members that they will see a debit alert of N200.00 (Two Hundred Naira) only as a fee for co-branding of their debit card.

According to the NPC, members who are yet to get their Project Wallet Account Numbers will get it in October 2021 as SEIFAC and its PFI – Heritage Bank PLC are working tirelessly to achieve this. While those yet to deposit the mandatory N2,000.00 (Two Thousand Naira) only minimum balance are at liberty to do so now.

He stressed that those members who deposited below the minimum balance are advised to make up their balance.

SEIFAC TO LAUNCH CO-BRANDED ATM CARDS, TARGET 60,000 FARMERS

SEIFAC TO LAUNCH CO-BRANDED ATM CARDS, TARGET 60,000 FARMERS

In a bid to enhance commercial farming activities in the country as one of the core objectives of the Federal Government, the Management of Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) in partnership with its Participating Financial Institute (PFI) Heritage Bank Limited is putting concluding plan to launch a co-branded Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards for smooth financial transactions.

Speaking with the National Programme Coordinator on Thursday, Mr. Patrick Abur stated that the ATM card idea was introduced to ease the financial activities of their cooperative members and to serve as a tool for identification.

According to him SEIFAC has opened Project Wallet Accounts for her members for the Anchor Borrowers Programme on Rice Production introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) few years ago.

He said ” The ATM Card will serve dual purposes for the operation of their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account and as an Identity Module.

The Programme Coordinator while describing the features on the Co-branded ATM Card said it will bear SEIFAC Logo and Name, Farmer’s full name, State, LGA Membership ID among and others.

Abur revealed that the card will serve as prerequisite for SEIFAC members for disbursement of funds into their wallets.

He stressed that the issuance of the ATM Cards will commences in few weeks only for members who have activated their accounts with the minimum balance of NGN2,000

He said ” When you see a debit on your account don’t be panic as it is for the service purpose of the ATM Card which is a vital instrument for accessing the disbursement of funds.

The coordinator emphasized that the timeframe for the exercise is six weeks for ATM Cards Production noting that distribution shall be done through SEIFAC various states offices.

The SEIFAC boss tasked members who are yet to activate their accounts to key in immediately to enable them to benefit from the ATM card among other endowments of the cooperative as the organization is open for partnership with governments, multinationals and individuals to actualize its vision of Agricultural Production Cluster (Agro-PC) on commercial scale.

He noted that the management is working relentlessly towards achieving complete due process in pursuance of their agricultural credits and disbursement.

“Hence, account regularity, loan documentations, Batch 2 Project Wallet Account opening Agricultural Production Clusters (Agro-PCs) lands acquisition are ongoing. noting, SEIFAC management is yet to publish the disbursement time and date to the general public.

The Coordinator also cautioned members to disregard any disbursement date and time information published by non SEIFAC executive. He said be rest assured that we are working tirelessly towards achieving the goals of disbursement shortly and same will be officially published via our website; www.seifac.org.

Loan Documentation Dateline Extended

Loan Documentation Dateline Extended

This is to bring to the notice of SEIFAC Member Farmers, visitors to SEIFAC website and the general public at large that another shift in dateline for loan documentation has become eminent as relevant stakeholders in the programme unanimously requested a shift in the dateline to enable Member Smallholder Farmers execute their loan documentation in order to benefit from the programme, in this regard, the new dateline is Saturday 3 July, 2021.  On the other hand this extension became necessary SEIFAC PFI HERITAGE BANK PLC to roll-out another batch of SEIFAC Project Wallet Accounts for members who have not received their Wallet Accounts. SEIFAC and its PFI are working tirelessly on a technology that will ensure that all members who are yet to receive their Project Wallet Accounts shall receive, activate and execute their loan documentation within the extension period. We therefore call on all our members across the country to remain calm and resolute while we ensure the delivery of their Project Wallet Accounts to their respective cell phones whiles those who have changed their cell phone lines are enjoined to contact the SEIFAC Support Centre on SMS and WhatsApp requesting for their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account Number with their registered cellphone number (lost or in use), email address and full name for retrieval of their Wallet Accounts. During this period, SEIFAC Member Farmers’ that have activated their Wallet Accounts shall be receiving their SEIFAC/Heritage Bank co-branded ATM Cards with special features to the advantage of the Smallholder Farmers.

SEIFAC DISCLAIMS VEREM TURUGH

SEIFAC DISCLAIMS VEREM TURUGH

The Smallholder Economic Interest Farmers Agricultural Cooperative (SEIFAC) has disclaimed one Mr. Verem Turugh who has been parading himself as the Chairman of the Cooperative.

The National Programme Coordinator (NPC) Mr. Patrick Abur in a disclaimer notice cautioned SEIFAC Members to be aware of the fraudulent antics of Mr. Turugh who has being issuing out fake letters on the social media and radio messages and carrying out transactions in the name of SEIFAC at a period when he was already suspended indefinitely from the Cooperative.

The Statement added that it has nothing to do with the said Turugh in any form stressing that SEIFAC members should disregard all ill tissues of lies emanating from Mr. Turugh who has been squeeze by the law enforcement agents and is currently languishing in the Police Facility at the Benue State Command Headquarters in Makurdi.

The statement asked those interested to participate in the Cluster Farming activities which are geared to enable smallholder farmers gain group dynamism, economy of scale, collective bargaining power and above all capable of lifting the smallholder farmers out of avoidable poverty. The NPC further urged members that the only official source of information for its members is its website, SEIFAC does not operate any social media handle targeted at disseminating information to its members and the general public is on the cooperative’s website www.seifac.org, email addresses includes info@seifac.org, farmerscare@seifac.org, seifac.org@gmail.com and on the phone, at its National Support Centre is 0813 238 5944.

The NPC of SEIFAC Mr. Patrick Abur stated that SEIFAC in partnership with its Participating Financial Institute (PFI) Heritage Bank PLC has commenced the production of its co-branded ATM Cards which also serves as membership Identity Cards – first of its kind in the country on commercial scale with special features like SEIFAC Logo, farmer’s passport photograph, name, LGA, State of registration and SEIFAC Registration Number which shall be available soon for collection by the farmers for operation of their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account which is to cone prior to the much anticipated loan disbursement.

Loan Documentation Dateline Extended

Loan Documentation Dateline Extended

This is to bring to the notice of our Farmers, visitors to our website and the general public at large that the dateline for loan documentation has been extended from 29th May 2021 to 12th June 2021. This extension became necessary as we noticed that a mass of our members are yet to receive their SEIFAC Project Wallet Accounts from our official one and only Participating Financial Institute (PFI) HERITAGE BANK PLC, hence such members have not activated their Wallet Accounts with the minimum balance of N2000.00 and subsequently execute their loan docuementations. SEIFAC and its PFI are working tirelessly on a technology that will ensure that all members who are yet to receive their Project Wallet Accounts to receive, activate and execute their loan documentation within the extension period. We therefore call on all our members across the country to remain calm resolute while we ensure the delivery of their Project Wallet Accounts to their respective cell phones.

SEIFAC ROLLS OUT FARMERS PROJECT WALLET ACCOUNTS

SEIFAC ROLLS OUT FARMERS PROJECT WALLET ACCOUNTS

This is to bring to the notice of SEIFAC esteem Members across the constituent states of the federation and FCT Abuja and the general public that SEIFAC National Headquarters Abuja has commenced the roll-out of SEIFAC Project Wallet Account bulk opening to complete step four of the membership registration process.

Members are therefore to be expectant of an SMS alert from our Participating Financial Institution (PFI) Heritage Bank Plc who will send their SEIFAC Project Wallet Account number to their respective Phone Numbers as they had earlier registered on SEIFAC centralized, relational and scalable database. Upon the receipt of Project Wallet Account Number, members are to immediately deposit the minimum of N2,000.00 (Two Thousand Naira) only as activation balance as stipulated on the members profile page and submit their evidence of payment to their nearest SEIFAC Agent Location/LGA Desk Office/State Office where they will fill SEIFAC loan documentation and pay a processing fee of N500.00 (Five Hundred Naira) only. This documentation shall commence as from Monday 17th – Saturday 29th May 2021 after which a tentative disbursement date shall be announced to our members and the general public.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE

This is to inform Farmers, visitors to our website and the general public at large that SEIFAC does not own any social media handle except a Whatsapp group called “SEIFAC NATIONAL PLATFORM” which is not accessible to the general public except a few key persons.
Please take note and disregard all social media platforms parading its connections to SEIFAC.
SEIFAC expressly disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any damages, loss or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of disregarding this warning or relying on the information disseminated by any such website, social media (i.e facebook, twitter, e.t.c) other than www.seifac.org