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Farmers attract $200m World Bank loan to Nigeria



Farmers attract $200m World Bank loan to Nigeria

Small and medium-scale farmers in Nigeria have attracted $200 million World Bank loan facility to the country.

The bank’s loan will have a low-interest rate, and a maturity of 25 years, with a five-year grace, or moratorium.

The International financial Institute was quoted by Reuters as confirming the development, adding that the money will help farmers tackle low yields, lack of seed capital to set up agro-factories, low-level adoption of technology and limited access to markets, all of which have retarding growth of the sector in Nigeria.

It further stated that the bank had said that about about 60,000 individuals will benefit directly from the funding, with 35 per cent being women.

According to the bank: “The priority value chains of the facility will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings.”

The World Bank also said that no fewer than 300,000 farming households will indirectly benefit from the support programme.

Nigeria, following fallen prices for its mainstay, crude oil, and lower daily oil output, due to activities of the Niger Delta militants, slipped into its worst recession in 2016.

Read also: World Bank to spend $57.3bn in West Africa, Nigeria tops list of beneficiaries

A report adds that the country spends about $20 billion, yearly importing food, with the fall in oil prices making it run short of dollars, which has also weakened its local currency, the naira.

The government has been battling with the idea of introducing sweeping economic recovery plans, including that of reforms to boost tax revenues.

One of the country’s programmes, aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, by 2018 and in wheat by 2019, are said to be facing some challenges, as local banks have no loan facilities for farmers.

Analysts believe that if the farmers-induced loan is properly utilised, Nigeria will soon join other countries known as net exporters of foods, like rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil.

But a seasoned farmer, Alhaji Jubril Hassan, said government officials should do all things possible to ensure that beneficiaries of the said loan must be real farmers, who can concentrate their efforts on cultivating crops that have high yielding potential in their various locations.

“Since the news is that the World Bank is providing the loan for small-scale farmers, no emergency farmers should be allowed to emerge only to be a beneficiary of the facility, unless Nigeria wants to lose the confidence of the world body,” the farmer stated.

However, it could not be ascertained whether the approved loan has anything to do with the pending $1.4 billion loan being sought by Nigeria from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank for funding the deficit on the 2016 budget.

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  1. yanju omotodun

    March 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    The money will be loaned out to rich farmers and not the major peasant farmers to help them develop too. And in spite of the loan, we still import food more than anything.

    • seyi jelili

      March 25, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      We are not self sufficient so you should know that but our importation of food should be minimal so as to stimulate our way agriculture.

  2. Agbor Chris

    March 25, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    “Analysts believe that if the farmers-induced loan is properly utilised…” this is where the problem is, will the farmers utilise the loan granted to them properly? Will they use it for the exact reason they applied for the loan? Won’t they get greedy? these questions are begging for answers

  3. Animashaun Ayodeji

    March 25, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I hope there won’t be any issue of ghost farmers just to swindle and misappropriate the money. If the loans can be granted to real farmers with good insights and enthusiasm of improving their works and the country, the loan will go a long way in improving our economy

    • Anita Kingsley

      March 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      I won’t be surprised to see ghost farmars for the sake of the money, this is Nigeria, we’ve seen many ghosts getting jobs, federal projects, and more.

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