Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nigeria secures $152.12 million African Development Bank (ADB) loan for Agriculture….

Minister of Agric, Akin Adeshina
“The facility will support infrastructure development, production facility, irrigation infrastructure, social infrastructure in particular, rural roads, potable water, sanitation, health care.

The Federal Government has approved a loan of $152.12 million (N24.3 billion) secured from the African Development Bank, ADB, for the Agricultural Sector.

This was disclosed by the minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, while briefing journalists after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC.

Mr. Adesina said the fund, already approved by the ADB, is a grant to support agriculture in several Nigerian states.

The loan, he said, is provided at 1.5 per cent interest rate is repayable in over 22 years, and is strategic for the modernization of agriculture and encourages investments.

Mr. Adesina said the loan will be used to develop rice, sorghum, and cassava in commercial production and “it will be used to support private sector processing and value addition for the commodities”.

He listed the zones to be focussed on to include: Adani-Omo in Ebonyi and Enugu states for rice and cassava; Bida and Badegi for Rice; Kano and Jigawa for rice, tomato, and sorghum; as well as Kebbi and Sokoto for rice and Sorghum.

The seven states involved in the first phase are, Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto.

“The facility will support infrastructure development, production facility, irrigation infrastructure, social infrastructure in particular, rural roads, potable water, sanitation, health care.

“The loan will also be used for agro-processing development, value addition, market information system for farmers in those areas, (and to) expand access to financial services and crops insurance,” he said.

The minister, who briefed alongside the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, also stated that there are 27 local governments that are covered by the fund; and it has been developed in close partnership with all the state governors and community involvement.

“There will be 120,000 jobs that will be created by the development of the staple crops which will include 36,000 women; and 200,000 youths are going to participate in the initiative.

“It will allow us to add 20 million metric tons of production of rice, cassava and sorghum into domestic food supply.

“There will be 17 water control structure to be rehabilitated, 1300 irrigation canals will be rehabilitated, 1300 kilometre of all weather roads will be rehabilitated, there will be 1007 tube wells to be constructed and in total 68,000 hectares of rice cassava and sorghum will be put under commercial production,” Mr. Adesina said.


He added that the access to insurance by farmers in the seven states will increase from 9 per cent to 80 per cent while the numbers of farmers’ organisations obtaining loans from banks and other micro-finance institutions will rise from 22 per cent to 80 per cent.  Source - Premium Times

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