The Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) said it has been hailed for its central role in enabling a significant increase in lending to agriculture by the financial sector within the last four years.
NIRSAL said it earned the commendation at the recently concluded 2016 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi Kenya where Nigeria was cited Nigeria as a country that has successfully developed a National Risk Sharing Facility for banks to lend to agriculture.
Specifically, it was stated that through NIRSAL, Nigeria witnessed a 600 per cent increase in lending by banks to the agriculture sector, rising from 0.7 per cent of total bank lending to five per cent within the last four years.
The development has led to many banks establishing their own specialised agricultural lending desks, according to a statement.
NIRSAL’s Managing Director, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed delivered a keynote speech at the event which was attended by agric and development experts across Africa.
The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) is an annual forum that aims to accelerate the progress on agriculture’s contribution to economic growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods for all.
The sixth AGRF brought together heads of state and government, farmer organisations, business leaders and captains of industry, eminent thought leaders, development partners, researchers, and finance & investment leads to share their insights on how to create, align and leverage financial, technical, policy and market-expanding resources to develop game-changing and inclusive agribusiness models for Africa.
Speakers at the event included Uhuru Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya; Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank; Dr. Rob Smith, Vice President, AGCO; Svein Tore Holsether, YARA President and CEO; Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, AGRA Board Chair, and Dr Agnes Kalibata, AGRA President, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
NIRSAL is a $500 million (N100 billion) public private initiative, wholly owned by the Central bank of Nigeria as a licensed financial institution designed to appropriately define, price and share agribusiness related credit risk. NIRSAL Plc. has a mandate to increase the flow of finance to commercial agriculture by de-risking and fixing the agricultural value chain.