By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A credit facility worth N1 billion has been given to Kastina State government for disbursement to farmers in the state.
This loan was provided by the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) for the development of an “export-worthy agricultural product” and comes with a single-digit interest rate.
The funding facility would be given to farmers of a chosen product to cut across the value chain to benefit most of them.
Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Mr Abubakar Bello, during a visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, disclosed the credit facility was also available for all states of the federation interested in harnessing a chosen agricultural product for export.
He explained that the effort, referred to as One State One Product project, was aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy and reduces dependence on oil.
According to him, states interested in the facility could expand the agricultural product to two, so long as same was customized to the state, but urged them to consider harnessing and exporting sesame seed as it is thriving product in the state, and has high demand in Asian countries.
“We are going to every state to put money behind every agricultural product chosen by the state for export.
“What we have done to kick start this is to put N1 billion to each of the state, and we’ll work with them to identify the product that the state would like to pursue as their own product for export.
“So we have a N1 billion facility available for Katsina state. The N1 billion is for a start, and the product is expected to be customized to the state.
“The N1 billion is to pilot the product for each state; as time goes on, we will grow the portfolio,” Mr Bello told the Governor.
On his part, Mr Masari said the facility may not be adequate considering the large number of people within the value chain of an agricultural product.
He called on NEXIM bank to also look at ways it could invest in processing of export-worthy products from the states and not just producing them alone.
He however said that the state would consider sesame seed and hibiscus as possible products for export from the state.
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