‘Rigid Financial Conditions, Cost of Loans Challenge to Nigeria’s Food Security’ – THISDAYLIVE

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Oluchi Chibuzor

With the continuous hike in food price, recent flooding that ravaged various farmlands; stakeholders in the industry have called on the federal government to pressure the banking sector to review their rigid financial conditions and high cost of loan as it remains the greatest challenges bedeviling the country’s food security.

They also highlighted the need for the Nigerian banking sector as a matter of urgent national issues to consider granting them loans that would cover their working capital beyond their early production stage.

They equally urged the federal government to  compel the Development Bank of Nigeria to consider using cooperative society groups to disburse loans to farmers.

Similarly, they also emphasised the need for federal government to consider deploying The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to farmers across the country to support the agricultural workforce and thereby reduce their working capital.

Speaking at the Vanguard Media Food Business Roundtable in Lagos, the Chairman, the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos Chapter, Dr. Adams Olu-Adebayo, said agriculture in Nigeria without funding is a mere entertainment story.

He stressed that farmers across the country must begin to work collaboratively and network to deliver the country from food shortages, as the money needed for farmers cannot come from the banking system.

“There is no better time than this season when the economic contraction is fully manifested through the combinations of economic recession and depression occurring at almost within the shortest possible period. That is, a significant decline in economic activity’s spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment status, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales, “he said

Speaking, the MD/CEO Bank of Industry Limited, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, noted that the theme of the session – “Incentives for Development of Nigeria’s Agro-Allied Business’ is quite apt given that Nigeria’s population growth rate has been higher than its economic growth for several years now. 

According to him, With a growing population and increasing urbanisation it has become critical that the country harness its agricultural potential for economic growth to further drive productivity and food security in Nigeria.

He added that despite these opportunities for growth and advancement in the agriculture ecosystem, a number of challenges persist, “high cost of inputs (land, fertilizer, high yielding seedlings), low mechanization processes, cheaper imported foods & raw materials, increasing rural – urban migration, poor infrastructure (transportation. storage, imigation etc), insecurity, and flooding amongst others. These hinder the performance of the agriculture sector in Nigeria, exacerbating the rising food insecurity that has affected the country in recent times.”

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