Sterling Bank commits 10% loan portfolio to agric finance
Sterling Bank Plc, said it has committed 10 per cent of its total loan portfolio to funding agriculture in recognition of its significant contribution to growth of the Nigerian economy.
Group Head, Agric Finance and Solid Minerals, Sterling Bank, Mrs. Bukola Awosanya, who disclosed this at a recent summit on Commodity Value-Chain Investment and Agribusiness Support Initiative through PPP, in Abuja, said the bank’s commitment is a deliberate effort to support farmers, and ensure that the “value chain is properly tied end to end.”
Awosanya explained that agriculture financing constitutes one of the five focal sectors of intervention for the bank alongside health, education, renewable energy and transport (HEART).
She noted that the absence of good agricultural practices, failure of farmers to repay loans, inconsistency in government policies as well as bad weather, and a host of others, are some of constraints to lending to operators in the sector.
She said: “We want to encourage farmers but if the input is bad, the output will fall short of expectations. For instance, poor seed quality is an issue; lack of infrastructure such as bad roads is also an issue, because it makes distribution of the harvest from the farm to the market difficult.
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