Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Federal Government on Thursday announced the commencement of the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture in order to ease credit facility to Nigerian farmers.
It made the announcement at a press briefing in Abuja as it celebrated the 2017 World Food Day, with the theme, ‘Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development’.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said, “We have commenced the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture for effective performance, so as to ease credit facilities to agri-businesses across the country.
“It will also to stimulate increased interest in farming as a source of livelihood and income generation.”
Ogbeh decried the high interest rates on loans by commercial banks and noted that the restructuring of the BoA was necessary in order to address the challenge of funding agricultural projects in the country.
“We cannot survive by lending money at 25 per cent to farmers. How can an economy grow like that?” he queried.
The Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Safiya Koroma, said the theme for this year’s World Food Day celebration was apt, as over 65 million people globally had been displaced from their homes by conflicts and violence.
“We shall all reinforce our believe that the right to food is a basic human right and achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Programmes cannot happen with hunger and without sustainable and resilient climate compactible agriculture and food system,” Koroma stated.
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