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Farmers urge FG to restructure Bank of Agric

The call was made recently in Lagos at a dialogue organised by the National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on…

The call was made recently in Lagos at a dialogue organised by the National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on the agricultural value chain with the theme: “Enhancing Agricultural Sector through adequate Financing.”
According to the stakeholders, apart from the cumbersome procedure farmers faced in accessing loans from BoA, documents requirement and the two digit interest rate of the loans also discouraged farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs from accessing the loans.
The farmers said the loan’s high interest rate was killing the agriculture sector, accusing the bank of not doing enough to boost their businesses.
Speaking at the event, the National President of the association, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, said the dialogue was aimed at finding a workable solution to the problems of agriculture and agribusiness financing in the country.
Abubakar who was represented at the event by the president of Kaduna branch of NACCIMA, Dr. Alimi Bello said: “The overall objective of this dialogue session is to discuss, identify and remove all major constrains to achieving competitiveness and also ensure equitable returns for all stakeholders in agribusiness.”
He reiterated the need for government to restructure the Bank of Agriculture and other financial institutions vis-à-vis loans disbursement to the farmers and other agric entrepreneurs in the country.
He said some of the hiccups in the agricultural value chain could be attributed to the federal ministry of agriculture, state governments and the private sector, stressing that inconsistencies in government policies were also affecting the sector.
The representative of the BOA at the dialogue, the bank’s Zonal Manager, South-west Operations, Mr. Olusegun Asiwaju, said Bank of Agriculture and the government have been working on how to bring down the interest rate to a single digit.
Asiwaju said the rationale for the requirement of various documents and probably collateral was due to past experience with the farmers, who, he said that after getting the loans, never thought about repayment.

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