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Banks Advised to Develop Credit for Agricultural Sector

By on November 15, 2012

Agric Minister, Akinwunmi Adesina

Just a year ago after the renowned Bangladeshi Professor, Mohammed Yunus, told Nigerian Banks to step up their plans by encouraging the Agricultural and Rural sectors with more credit facilities that are viable, the Banks have once again been told that Agricultural credits need to be developed.

It is on record that since the discovery of oil in 1957 in the Niger-Delta, the initial value and focus on Agricultural dwindled and experienced a decline, but with the growing concerns over the vulnerability of the Oil market in the globe, there can be no other time to focus on Agriculture than now.

Despite the Decree during the Babangida Administration that established the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank (NACB) designed to encourage the Agricultural sector, the bank eventually collapsed and the low capacity to revitalize the sector made the industry unsustainable.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina delivering  a lecture at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for the year 2012 on ‘The New Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria: Opportunities for Banks and other Stakeholders in Economic Diversification’, urged banks to encourage credit platforms that will boost the agricultural sector.

Comparative studies show that the success of the agricultural sectors in China, Canada, and the United States have been achieved through a conscious effort of the Banks supporting and providing the agricultural sector with credit platforms that boost the sector.

Nigeria has a great opportunity to relaunch itself as a major player in the agricultural sector, but the agric minister believes that this could be stifled if commercial banks fail to take the initiative of boosting the sector with coordinated credit platforms.

The Federal Government has decried the over-dependence on imported rice and wheat, which it believes can stop if the agricultural sector is given more priority and effective strategies are deployed to ensure that food production experiences a boost.

Dr Adesina has stated his resolve that as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture the sector must experience reforms that will ensure increased mechanized farming, increase in food production, effective food  storage systems and exports of agricultural products like cassava, but this requires the support of the banks.