Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has partnered the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to improve the rate of loan repayment by farmers under the Anchor Borrowers policy.
Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, according to a statement by Head, Press Unit of the agency, Paul Odenyi who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to BOA on Wednesday in Abuja said the Federal Government had shown the necessary political will to reposition agriculture through its policy direction in the sector, calling for public sensitization on the scheme among farmers in order to improve results of the sector.
The NOA boss said both institutions had the relevant platforms to reposition agriculture to make widespread impact in the country.
Dr. Abari, who stressed the need for robust public enlightenment on the various government policies if they are to be effectively implemented, pledged to utilize NOA’s platforms across the country to sensitize Nigerians, especially small holder farmers, on the scope and workings of the Anchor Borrowers programme.
While commending the patriotism of the BOA management team in answering the call to national service despite its inconveniences, Abari called on all Nigerians to contribute their quota towards speedy development of the agricultural sector.
“For a country whose glory used to be in Agriculture, we have no other way out of our economic challenges other than running Agriculture as a big business for income generation, food sustainability and global competitiveness,” he said.
Managing Director, BOA, Kabir Adamu observed that the programme which targets small holder farmers with agricultural loan and inputs was confronted with non-performing loans which he ascribed to poor understanding of the programme by farmers.
He said the loans to farmers were not gifts, hence the need for them to repay in order to facilitate access to loans by other farmers, noting however that BOA non-performing loans were below 10 percent, better than the Central Bank of Nigeria standard of 70 percent.
Adamu disclosed that the bank hoped to register 15 million farmers in the coming two years and was therefore partnering with relevant agencies to open branches in all Local Government Areas to ensure it meets the target.
He appealed to corporate Nigerians to partner with the bank in the area of funding in line with global best practices and in the spirit of patriotism.