World Bank Okays $200m Agric Loan for Nigeria
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The sum of $200 million has been approved by the World Bank to support Nigeria in the area of agriculture through credit facility.
Word Bank Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, disclosed in a statement last Friday that the credit was being financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm
The money, according to him, would be used to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers.
About 60,000 individuals are expected to directly benefit from the programme, while the priority value chains under the project will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, products with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings such as cocoa and cashew..
Mr Benmessaoud explained that the loan was in recognition of agriculture as the key to long-term economic growth and diversification, adding that it will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
He noted that the project will tackle the key constraints of the Nigeria agriculture sector, such as low productivity, lack of seed funds for establishing agro-processing plants and lack of access to supportive infrastructure.
The World Bank top staff said, “The project supports the country policy thrusts on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification.
“It also responds to the recurring issues of low productivity, limited farmers’ participation to agribusiness supply chains, and institutional realignment in the agricultural sector.
“The project will help increase agricultural productivity and production, improve processing and marketing, foster job creation, and increase household income and livelihood in participating states,” he said.