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Obasanjo Canvasses Single-Digit Interest Loan To Farmers

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the federal government to make food security a top priority by providing single-digit interest loans to farmers, aiming to further open up the agricultural sector to more participants. 

Speaking at the 2024 edition of Agriconnect in Lagos, Obasanjo highlighted the significant potential of agriculture to boost Nigeria’s economy, stressing that “any country that offers more than a single-digit loan to people in agribusiness is not helping farmers.”

As the chairman of the summit, themed “Bridging the Divide: Fostering Collaboration and Innovation for a Sustainable Agricultural Future,” Obasanjo emphasized the urgent need for collaborative efforts to tackle the challenges facing the agricultural industry and to unlock its full potential. 

PLATFORM TIMES reports that the  event served as a platform for stakeholders to discuss and strategize on sustainable agricultural development.

Among the key speakers was Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, former President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and Managing Director of Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited. 

Oduntan underscored the necessity of policy coherence to improve market access and build resilient food systems in Nigeria.

 During a panel discussion titled “From Farm to Table: Enhancing Market Access and Building Resilient Food Systems,” he addressed the detrimental impact of inconsistent government policies on the advancement of agribusiness.

Oduntan pointed out the frequent changes in agricultural policies with each new minister, which disrupt the continuity of previous initiatives. 

“We have all the right ideas to take agribusiness to where it should be, but a major challenge has been the implementation of policies. 

In my over 30 years of experience in the agricultural sector, I have witnessed numerous policy shifts with each new Minister of Agriculture. 

This inconsistency hampers the progress of our agribusiness,” he remarked.

The summit called for a unified approach to policy-making that ensures stability and continuity, creating a more predictable environment for farmers and investors.

 By fostering policy coherence and offering financial incentives such as single-digit interest loans, the Nigerian government can create a more supportive ecosystem for agribusiness.

The discussions at Agriconnect 2024 highlighted the potential of Nigeria’s agricultural sector to drive economic growth, provided that strategic measures are implemented to support farmers and agribusinesses. 

The event concluded with a call to action for the government, private sector, and other stakeholders to work together in creating a sustainable and prosperous future for Nigerian agriculture.

 

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