Nigerian agricultural finance 'must be improved'
Improved access to finance is required if Nigeria's agricultural sector is to reach its full potential, it has been claimed.Improved access to finance is required if Nigeria's agricultural sector is to reach its full potential, it has been claimed.
Director-General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Dr Peter Hartmann discussed the matter at a recent presentation at the National Institute of Social and Economic Research, This Day reports.
He stated that a financial system must be introduced to ensure farmers, traders and processors have easy access to credit.
If this occurs, the agricultural sector has the potential to improve employment opportunities within the country and support its economic growth, Dr Hartmann continued.
He noted that currently, "financial institutions view the agricultural sector as risky and so it receives a very small portion of commercial credit".
This is despite figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showing that farming contributed to 40.84 percent of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product in 2010 and employs around 70 percent of the rural population.
Dr Hartmann believes stimulating the agricultural market would also provide a boost to small and medium-sized enterprises.