Don't Miss

Lack of access to loan, major obstacle for farmers – Agric Minister

By on September 17, 2013
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

Nigeria’s minister of agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has identified lack of access to loan facilities as major problem facing farmers in the country.

The minister said under such circumstance, it would be difficult to achieve food security.

Adesina stated this on Tuesday at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, during the 1st national annual conference of Crop Science Society of Nigeria, CSSN, with the theme, “The Role of Crop Science in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda”.

He disclosed that bank lending to agric sector had been low with only one percent of all banks lending to agriculture.

He said, “Banks high collateral demand as well as high interest rate charge on farmers are obstacles in get loan from banks”.

The minister, who was represent by an Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Agric, Christian Idoko noted that to overcome such problem, the ministry had collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria to launch the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agric Lending, NIRSAL.

According to him, “The objective is to reduce the risk facing banks in lending to farmers. This initiative will build capacity for banks and provide incentive for banks that lend to farmers.

“The monopoly of Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation on agricultural crops will change with entrance of private insurance companies.

“Increased competition will lead to development of more appropriate insurance products”.

In a keynote address presented by the Director-General of IITA Ibadan, Dr Nteranya Sanginga, he expressed hope that with the commitment of Jonathan on agricultural transformation, Nigeria would achieve its MDG on agriculture in 2015.

“Adesina before becoming minister of agriculture has contributed much to the sector and knows problems facing the development of agriculture in the country.

“Giving the rapid transformation going on in agric sector, I have no doubt that the country will achieve its MDG in agriculture”, he observed.

In a remark, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof Bartho Okolo, described the conference theme as very apt, and challenged crop scientists to use the conference to find intellectual solutions to problems facing farmers in the country.

Okolo, who was represented by Prof Malachiy Okwueze, Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, said that agriculture must be supported with appropriate technology.