The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed said the Federal Government is seeking the approval of the National Assembly for a $1.2 billion loan aimed at fixing value chains in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday afternoon during the Finance ministry’s budget defence at the House of Representatives. The Minister also told the Committee that the loan would be financed by the Brazilian Government.
According to report from Nairametrics in June, the Federal Government announced plans to develop 142 agro-processing centres across the six geopolitical zones in the country.The projects will be funded by the “Green Imperative” programme a $1.2 billion joint Nigerian-Brazilian agriculture development scheme.The Finance Minister said Nigeria needs to address the issues of its food value chain as the country diversifies away from oil.
“We need to address issues in the agriculture value chain as the country moves towards other sources of revenue. Already, the federal government is making efforts to acquire 100,000 hectares of land per state for food production.“Roads will be built in such locations to provide access for farm inputs and ease the movement of farm produce to the markets. If the farmers can move their farm produce to markets, it will reduce post-harvest losses,” Ahmed said.
Nairametrics also reported in September that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed Nigeria needs to increase its level of bank credit to the agricultural sector by over 50% within the next 4 years to boost food production.