The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono while receiving the 2020 Wet Agricultural Performance Survey on October 18, 2020, has revealed the federal government’s plan to provide farmers in Nigeria with interest-free loans.
According to the minister, the ministry would work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in providing the loans as well as agricultural inputs. However, he didn’t disclose how the loan will be disbursed and the requirements that need to be met before the loan can be given.
“The ministry would support the farmers with agricultural inputs and zero-interest loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 and the recent flooding especially in Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano States,” Sabo Nanono stated.
The 2020 Wet Agricultural Performance Survey revealed that it had shown that effective input subsidisation would accelerate productivity in the agricultural sector, the minister said.
In a bid to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, Sabo Nanono also employed farmers to intensify efforts and focus on achieving more successes during the dry season farming.
This recent development by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development appears to be timely considering the coronavirus pandemic that has affected many businesses. If the plan of the federal government sees the light of the day, it will increase the output of the agricultural sector, drive financial inclusion in rural areas, encourage farmers and also motivate other entrepreneurs to venture into the industry.
On the other hand, it should be noted that earlier in the year, the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc reportedly facilitated the funding of over ₦105 billion across various agricultural segments which include pre-upstream, upstream, midstream and downstream.
The system funded these segments of the agricultural value chain from public and private sources.
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