The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to pump 3 trillion Naira into the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) with the aim of making funds affordable to farmers in the country at an affordable interest rate.
It has been discovered that access to funding remained one of the biggest challenges facing farmers in the country and in turn slowing the growth of the agricultural sector.
This was made known to reporters by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital during the inaugural harvest of a Tillapia fish farm of Premium Aquaculture Limited, Oyan Dam.
Lokpobiri said commercial banks were not ready to fund the agriculture sector, hence the decision by the federal government of Nigeria to recapitalise BOA was to facilitate the diversification of the country’s economy to agriculture.
He therefore, disclosed that the nation’s fish demand stood at 3.1 metric tonnes per annum but currently hovering around 1.1 metric tonnes per annum, leaving a deficit of 2.1 metric tonnes.
According to him, the government resorted to backward integration to encourage local fish farmers and bridge the gap between demand and supply. He said.
“When this administration came on board, the supply was around 800,000 metric tonnes per annum, but due to government policy on fishery by the ministry of agriculture, the country is now doing 1.1 metric tonnes per annum.”