The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says Nigeria needs more investment in rural infrastructure to boost agricultural production in the country.
Adesina made this known on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Des Moines, USA.
He said that the country must continue to operate policies that would assist farmers in accessing seeds and fertilisers easily.
“We must continue to run public policies that get access to seeds and fertilizers for farmer at scale. When I mean scale, I mean at scale of millions and millions of farmers.
“And I think the use of the electronic wallet system, which we started when I was minister of agriculture, provides a very good platform to continue to do that because that same technology today is been used in other parts of the world.
“And I think it’s important to get access to technology to farmers at scale.
“Nigeria needs to invest a lot more in rural infrastructure; rural roads, storage facilities to help farmers. This is very important.
Adesina described the Nigerian Incentive-Base Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as a game changer.
The CBN incorporated NIRSAL in 2013 as a dynamic, holistic 500 million dollars public-private initiative, to define measure, price and share agribusiness related credit risk with banks.
According to him, NIRSAL has made the banking industry to see the agricultural sector differently, adding that the amount of bank’s lending to farmers had increased since it advent.
“We also have to make sure that we are supporting a lot more of research and development of the sector.
“A lot more work needed to be done to support research institutions in Nigeria.
“But am delighted that Nigerian government is paying attention to agriculture as it should.’’