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Obasanjo Advocates Single-Digit Interest Rate for Agric Loans

He said food production, food security, and nutritional security were very important, as well as the need to create jobs for the country’s youth.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the federal government to reduce interest rate on agricultural loans to a single-digit to help transform agribusiness.
Obasanjo made the call at the weekend 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 ensure 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,” Obasanjo said.
According to him, agricultural stakeholders have done tremendous work in providing the right seed, hybrid seed, high-yielding seed, and knowledge that can 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 added.
He said that food production, food security, and nutritional security were very important in Nigeria, adding that there was also a need to create jobs for the teeming population of youth in the country.
On his part, Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Wouter Plomp,  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 markets.
According to him, the aim is not only to ensure Nigeria’s food security but also to place the nation at the forefront of global agricultural innovation.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the 2023 World Food Day campaign took water action for food by encouraging its effective utilisation to ensure stability in food security.

The minister, who was represented by the Director of agribusiness and Market Development in the ministry, Mr. Adegbenro Adebiyi, said the project aimed to provide opportunities that would save and restore livelihoods and reduce food insecurity in Nigeria.

James Emejo in Abuja

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