FG approves N5bn facility to boost livestock sector
The Federal Government has approved a N5 billion loan facility to boost the productivity of the livestock sector.
Mohammad Abubakar, minister of agriculture and rural development, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday, adding that the loan facility, which was released through the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) would ensure farmers’ access to finance at lower interest rates.
According to the minister, the facility underscores the commitment of President Buhari’s administration to reform the livestock sector.
He said, “the N5 billion in the Bank of Agriculture was part of recapitalisation that would be given out to livestock herders. The bank is being recapitalised and so more money will be coming to the bank.
“Crop sub-sector has always gotten more attention because it comes with food security but nutrition security is the other nutrient that would complement the grains otherwise you will have a different kind of growth.”
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He noted that the scheme would bring more stability to develop the livestock sector, and improve security and harmonious existence between farmers and herders.
Alwan Hassan, managing director of BoA, said, “the Federal Government has recapitalised the bank, we have received some funds and one of the mandates of the bank is financing the agric value chain completely.
He explained that the modality in disbursing the loan was enshrined in the loan conditions of the bank. “We have set rules for giving out loans which are governed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s regulations and also regulated by the bank.
“For the interest rate, depending on which value chain you are taking. Our rates start from 9 percent up to 15 percent depending on which value chain you are taking. That means it depends on the risk factor of the business you are going into.”
Baba Ngelzarma, the national president, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, (MACBAN), commended the government for the loan facility, stating that the intervention would boost the growth of the livestock value chain.