The Agric Graduate Loan Scheme at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, has helped seven graduates.
The N120,000 to N400,000 loan was intended to launch enterprises in the production of fish, poultry, pigs, cassava, eggs, palm oil, and agricultural input sales and marketing.
In an interview with journalists to commemorate his first 100 days in office, the institution’s vice-chancellor, prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe said the loan program was started to create graduate farmers who could support themselves.
He said that the MOUAU Extension Center’s (MEC) loan program, which had been started a few years earlier but had failed to owe to a lack of funding, had been reactivated and sponsored by his government.
Iwe stated: “As soon as I was named the VC, I decided to make the huge land of the university available for farming. I contacted the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and asked for help so that we could clear 400 hectares of land to start farms.
In addition to stating that they have begun looking into alternative sources of funding while they wait for the monies from the Federal Government, he noted financial restrictions as a major obstacle holding up the disbursement.