BoI, NIRSAL collaborate on credit facilities for farmers

The Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the Bank of Industry on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate credit facilities for smallholder farmers across the country.

According to the organisations, about 60 per cent of post-harvest farm produce are lost across the value chain and the collaboration will help tackle the problem.

They said the collaboration would boost import substitution, job creation, stimulate inclusive growth and help to realise the key objectives of the Agricultural Promotion Policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

They said it would also enhance BoI’s credit facilities to primary producers generally and smallholder farmers in particular whether they are in the crop, livestock or fishery subsectors.

Agro-input suppliers for fertiliser, seeds, crop protection chemicals, fish and livestock feeds as well as agricultural mechanisation service providers are also expected to benefit from the collaboration.

The organisations said the NIRSAL’s credit guarantees, risk-sharing framework and its value chain-fixing mandate would enable BoI to lend confidently to complete end-to-end agricultural value chain and protect its balance sheet.

They added that projects financed under the framework would enjoy  credit facility processing turnaround time estimated to be up to 50 per cent faster than those from commercial banks, and at very low interest rates to commercially viable agricultural projects that had been packaged and linked to structured markets by NIRSAL.

The acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, said priority would be given to projects with linkages to Small and Medium Enterprises such as rice, cotton, livestock and poultry, and tomatoes, as well as others with high potential for foreign exchange generation such as hides and skin, rubber, sesame seeds, cashew.