BoI signs N10b agro-mechanised deals with development partners
In efforts to ensure food security and exports, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth N10 billion with development partners.
The total package will be given to small holding farmers on a single digit of nine per cent. Value addition and processing will also be covered so that the country can have a viable agriculture value chain.
To fast track Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) lending via cluster product programme, the Division Head, SME, South, Abdul-Ganiyu Mohammed, explained that apart from looking at technology to support SMEs, they also need to ensure value addition and areas of comparative advantage.
He said in order to collateralise credit, which are far beyond the reach of SMEs, the BoI came up with clustering where finance institutions will see SMEs in groups rather than individuals.
Mohammed said youths are being incorporated with one-digit interest rate to address unemployment in the county.
The Executive Director, Corporate Services, Jonathan Tobi explained that agro mechanisation is essential for economic growth, adding that the sight of farmers with hoes and cutlasses has continued to discourage the youths from going into agriculture.
The Acting Managing Director of the bank, Waheed Olagunju said the synergy with relevant partners in the agro business was due to Nigeria’s comparative advantage including population, availability of land and other factors.
Olagunju said apart from providing food, agriculture also produces raw materials for industries.