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Banks Urged to Support Small, Medium scale Farmers

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Commercial banks in the country have been advised to also extend their agric sector lending to small and medium scale farmers in the country.
The Chairman, Lagos Branch of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Bolade Agbola, made this call while speaking to journalists ahead of the launch of his book titled: “Agricultural Finance - a Practical Guide for Lenders and Entrepreneurs.”

Agbola, who is a director at Cashcraft Asset Management Limited, noted that while there is need for policies to encourage the big farmers in the country, such support should also be extended to the small and medium farmers. This set of farmers, he argued generates employment in the country.

Agbola, who is an agric economists further stressed that the small and medium scale farmers also contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as to social welfare of the economy.

“So, the banks still have a lot do because at the commercial farming level, banks can engage all the expertise and all the consultants, but at the small and medium scale level, banks need to engage more agric officers to go to the fields to support the farmers, not only with funds, but with knowledge and skills.

“Knowledge about how to get their input, about which tools to use and so on, because agric lending is suppose to be supervised lending where you supervise the farmers in developing,” he added.

The book, which will be launched in Lagos on April 3, according to him, was written to enhance understanding of funding and management of agric business for both lenders and entrepreneurs.

He stated that the resources in the book would equip lenders as well as regulators in the banking sector with requisite skills and knowledge.

Agbola further identified lack of insurance as one of the problems farmers face in the country.

“Nigerian farmers are ageing, we need to develop a new generation of farmers who are knowledgeable and can apply business management principles to run their business and also apply modern production techniques,” he said.

Article Credit: ThisDay newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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