The vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has emphasised the need to breed successor farmers by attracting young people through adequate finance.
According to Leadership, the chief consultant/chief executive officer, Proedge Limited, a corporate communication outfit, Tajudeen Kareem, the vice president identified funding as critical to improving agricultural production.
He said that Osinbajo disclosed the readiness of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, (NIRSAL) initiative, to take up the challenge of funding agriculture by giving grants to farmers.
According to him, “Financing of agriculture is also a crucial policy. With a double-digit interest rate at the moment, we must develop some funding options in the short term. The Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the CBN has proved to be extremely useful.”
He attributed the “phenomenal success of the Kebbi State rice programme where the farmers move from 3.5 metric tonnes (mt) per hectare to 7.5mt per hectare” to the single-digit interest rate extended by the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the CBN used for timely purchase of fertiliser and other inputs.
Speaking on the Agricultural Promotion Policy, tagged Green Alternative, the vice president said, “It covers all agricultural processes, including land use, fertiliser types, appropriate technologies, science and technology, and telecommunications for monitoring the movement of tractors in mechanised agriculture.”
Osinbajo further disclosed that the ministry has concluded plans to recapitalise and re-engineer the Bank of Agriculture to grant single-digit interest loan before the end of this quarter.