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BOA targets N250bn as minimum capital base

The Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Prof. DanBala Danju, says the bank is targeting a minimum of N250 billion capital base to effectively…

The Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Prof. DanBala Danju, says the bank is targeting a minimum of N250 billion capital base to effectively finance agro-allied activities in the country. 

Danju disclosed this to newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday shortly after a meeting with Prof. Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer of PURDUE University in the United States. 

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Lowenberg-DeBoer is an expert in Agriculture Economics.

The bank is collaborating with Lowenberg-Deboer, who is also professor of agriculture and Director of International Programmes in agriculture, to remodel its credit facilities in order to ease lending to Nigerian farmers.

Danju said the initiative was to enable farmers access finance that would scale up production, processing, storage and marketing of produce, especially for the small- holder farmers, in order to generate more income.

He said the bank would seek approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to peg interest rate at five per cent to attract more farmers to its credit facilities.

According to him, the bank is consulting with different international experts in the sector to evolve a more realistic model of operation that would benefit millions of farmers across the country.

Earlier, Lowenberg-Deboer, who had worked for more than 30 years in different parts of West Africa, stated that the discovery of oil had distracted the country from focusing on the agriculture sector.

He said that the poor implementation of government policies in agriculture also played a major part in the slow growth of the sector.

The don said the country had the capital, personnel, good soil and adequate rainfall that would have made the country a major global player in the sector.

The expert, however, expressed regret at the country`s inadequate investment in research and education to enhance agricultural production.

He urged stakeholders to invest in research, adding that farmers should learn more about new techniques that would scale up production, storage, processing and marketing of their products.

“Nigerian Farmers will be efficient and profitable with the application of technology, input and information. 

“Profitable input, supply marketing and processing business are keys to the future of Nigerian agriculture, “ he said. (NAN)

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