Bank of Agric to Give Farmers Loans at 7% Interest Rate

November 17, 2017

By Dipo Olowookere

Farmers in the country have been assured by the Federal Government that with ongoing underground plans, they would be able to access funds to boost their yields at a low interest rate.

At the moment, most lenders give loans to investors at an interest rate higher than 14 percent.

Efforts by stakeholders, including the Senate, to reduce the interest rate for loans obtained from banks have not yielded any meaningful result.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at its last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in September 2017, left the benchmark rate at 14 percent.

Speaking at a function in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, disclosed that plans were ongoing to restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) for greater efficiency.

According to the Minister, when fully restructured, farmers in the country would be able to obtain loans from the lender at 7 percent.

Mr Ogbeh, during his address at a conference organised by the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) with theme ‘Showcasing Nigeria’s Agricultural Potential to the World,’ stated that more funds would be injected into the bank to achieve this goal.

Represented at the seminar by his Adviser on Media and Communications, Dr Olukayode Oyeleye, the Minister said, “Since commercial banks’ interest rate is not favourable to farmers, the government has decided to reform the Bank of Agriculture to make it more relevant to farmers.

“It is important that farmers leverage on cooperative societies as they are vehicles through which extension services can be delivered to farmers.”

Explaining further on why the reason behind this, the Minister said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to ensure food security in the country.

In his remarks, Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Femi Oke, appealed to the government to make the environment more favourable to farmers.

He called for assistance in the area of food storage and preservation to boost export.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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