In continuation of its drive towards de-risking agriculture and facilitating agribusiness aimed at attaining sustainable flow of finance to private sector, the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has stated that one of its key priorities for the year 2017 is to leverage 10 times the value of its balance sheet in fresh commercial bank lending to agriculture.
The plan, according to the firm was projected to bring N60billion of fresh capital into the agriculture sector in the year 2017 in order to address the perennial problem of access to finance that has stunted agricultural development in the country.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abbati Abdulhameed stated this recently in a presentation titled “Agriculture as the Key Strategic Sector to Stimulate Nigerian Economy: The Role of NIRSAL” at the Nigerian Economic Outlook Conference, which held in Lagos.
Abdulhameed also said that due to the strong political will of the President Muhammadu Buhari, the prioritisation of the agriculture sector by all agencies of government, better policies, and improved budgetary provision, the Nigerian agricultural sector is primed to have a very good year in 2017.
He further stated that NIRSAL is at the heart of government’s plans to leverage massive private sector capital and international collaborations to drive accelerated growth in the sector.
He stated that one of the top priorities of NIRSAL for 2017 is a strong focus on getting youths into agriculture. He said NIRSAL in December 2016 become part of a partnership that secured a $300m fund from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for this purpose and will use it in 2017 to start the process of building a new generation of successful young farmers.
To hasten the process of moving the country from subsistence farming to commercial farming, the NIRSAL MD said that NIRSAL has developed and intends to deploy series of bespoke financing models and hence made seeds, fertilizer and mechanization a key focus of its 2017 plans. He said that the institution will build on the success of its mechanisation financing model which led to the purchase and lease of close to 300 tractors to ensure more farmers get access to tractors at affordable rates.
He posited that NIRSAL has become one of key policy tools of government being used to ginger agricultural sector in order to stimulate and diversify the economy.
He further stated that NIRSAL is an enthusiastic team player and is working with a host of government agencies to achieve government’s objectives in Agriculture for 2017