Banks credit to farmers rises to N501bn
Nigeria’s money deposit bank credit to farmers in the country has risen to N501 billion in q2 2017 from N481 billion q2 2016, showing a five percent increase year-on-year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
On a quarter on quarter basis, loan from the banking sector to farmers decreased by 10 percent from N557 billion in Q1 2017 to N501 billion in Q2 2017, the NBS banking report states.
Nigeria’s economy fell to a 25-year low in 2016, after oil revenues collapsed and officials have picked unwavering interest in the agricultural sector as the country attempts revenue diversification.
The country’s agricultural sector has begun to attract more investments owing to the renewed commitment of the government and new entrance of farmers into the sector.
Key industry players who spoke to BusinessDay stated that the percentage year-on-year increase is a welcome development but stated that much more is still needed to be done, stressing for cheaper interest rate for agro credit.
The experts noted that the biggest challenge confronting farmers is insufficient access to agro credit at single interest rates, which according to them is limiting farmers’ ability to boost productivity and improve their livelihoods.
“Finance is the biggest challenge confronting farmers. It is a very serious problem that the government need to address by providing farmers will single digit loans,” said Tola faseru, national president, National Cashew Association of Nigeria.
“We need very cheap fund so that our products can be competitive globally,” Faseru said.
Currently, the average interest rate farmers get loans from money deposit banks is between 28 to 30 percent, say experts.
The sector has seen tremendous increase in investments in and credit for farmers as Nigeria makes frantic efforts to ensure that agriculture play a key role in its quest for economic and revenue diversification.
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