A breakfast meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and heads of various deposit money banks (DMBs) in attendance have agreed to extend the loan repayment period for farmers from six months to one year to ensure further increase in food production in the coming year and reduce inflation.
A statement from the ministry noted that the meeting also discussed and resolved some challenges, mostly bureaucratic, in the loan repayment processes. Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the total amount loaned to farmers in 2013 was N20bn as against N3.5bn in the preceding year.
He said banks’ confidence in farmers came as a result of the creation of institutional structures in form of value chains and stressed that the Federal Government “will continue to reduce the risk of lending by banks to the agricultural sector.” Adesina named the DMBs that supported the sector as Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Enterprise Bank, FCMB, Jaiz Bank, First Bank and Mainstreet Bank.
Others are Sterling Bank, UBA, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank and Bank of Agriculture.
He attributed the decline in inflation to the slow rate in the increase of food prices and the CBN’s monetary policy.