FG Reiterates Streamlining Agricultural Loans to Smallholders Through BOA, CBN
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has called for streamlining of agricultural loans through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in order to improve small holder farmers’ access to grants, boost food production and generate revenue for the country.
Abubakar also gave assurance of the federal government’s commitment to diversifying the economy through agriculture and stated emphatically that the plan would boost nutrition and food security, increase the local farmer’s income and create more jobs for Nigerian farmers.
He disclosed this in a statement released by the Chief Information Officer, for Director, Information, FMARD, Mr. Ezeaja Ikemefuna, during a familiarisation tour to some Agricultural institutions in Kaduna State recently.
According to him, the BOA would continue its role as a development financial institution in the agriculture sector to provide agriculture financing for smallholder farmers as “it will stimulate improvement in the lives and growth across the farming communities.”
He maintained in the statement that “President Muhammadu Buhari is very passionate about the need to grow what we eat and eat what we grow so as to de-emphasise unnecessary importation of food which constitutes a drain on our foreign exchange.”
Abubakar, however, disclosed ongoing plans by the ministry in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria to streamline Agricultural loans to smallholder farmers for proper utilisation and more effective production and efficient services scheme for Nigerian Farmers in the various value Chains.
He reiterated that the ministry under his watch would ensure that the BOA obtained a licence to operate maximally and deliver services towards achieving its core objectives and mandate.
Abubakar remarked that the diversification agenda of the present administration is one of the cardinal policies aimed at achieving nutrition and food security, reducing poverty rate and improving Agribusiness in the agric sector.
In his remarks, the Acting Managing Director of the BOA, Mr. Alwan Ali Hassan, appealed for the “completion of the restructuring and recapitalisation of the bank as approved by the shareholders on August 18, 2021, especially in the area of engaging the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the release of the Capital allotted to them.”
Continuing, Hassan urged the federal government to write-off the loan component of the Cassava Bread Initiative Fund and the Agricultural MechaniSation Intervention outstanding loan.