Obasanjo advocates single digit interest rate for agric loans

By Bukola Adewumi

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the Federal government to reduce agriculture interest loan to single digit to help transform the agribusiness.

Obansanjo made the call on Friday in Abuja at the Launch of Youths in Agribusiness project with the theme, “Enabling Scaling of Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Food Solutions.’’

He said that if youths had to go to bank to borrow money at the rate of 20 per cent interest rate, it would be difficult for them to succeed in agric business.

The former president appealed to the Federal Government to find a way that youths could get access to finance at the right rate for agriculture.

“I believe any interest that is more than single digit is not good enough for agriculture.”

According to him,  agricultural stakeholders have done tremendous work in providing the right seed, hybrid seed, high yielding seed and knowledge that can used be used to transform the agribusiness sector.

“But we need more of these scientific and technological products in the farmers’ hands so that farmers can be better on what they get in terms of yields,” he said.

He said that food production, food security and nutritional security were very important in Nigeria and there was also need to create jobs for the teeming population of youth in the country.

On his part, Wouter Plomp, Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, said the Youth Agribusiness Programme would be a three-year initiative inspired by Nigerian tenacity and a sprinkle of Dutch innovation to support 8000 young agripreneurs.

He said the goal was to combat food insecurity by empowering youths to get access to finance and connect young agripreneurs with local and international market.

According to him, the aim is not only to ensure Nigeria’s food security, but also place the nation at the forefront of global agricultural innovation.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar kyari, said 2023 World Food Day campaign took water action for food by encouraging its wise utilisation to ensure stability in food security.

The minister, who was represented by Engr. Adegbenro Adebiyi, Director Agribusiness and Market Development, said the aim of the project was to provide opportunities that would save and restore livelihoods and reduce food insecurity in Nigeria.(NAN)