World Bank approves $200m loan for Nigerian farmers

The World Bank said it has approved the sum of $200 million as loan to Nigeria to support the government’s effort to boost Agricsmall and medium-scale farmers. The loan would be disbursed by World Bank’s low-interest arm, the International Development Association,  and has a maturity of 25 years with a grace period of five years.

The bank said on Friday that about 60,000 individuals will benefit directly from the funding,  35 percent of whom are expected to be women. It also stated that about 300,000 farming households will be affected indirectly.

“Priority value chains … will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, products with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings,” the statement read.

Nigeria slipped into its first recession in 25 years in 2016, brought on by low prices of crude oil. It has been trying to diversify away from hydrocarbons, build infrastructure and boost agriculture.

According to the statement, the loan would help tackle low yields, lack of seed capital to set up agro-based factories, low-level adoption of technology and limited access to markets.

recall that the Federal Government, in February, unveiled an economic recovery plan, tagged Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which included currency reforms to boost tax revenues. The ERGP, among other objectives, also aims to achieve self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and in wheat by 2019 or 2020. It is also hoped that Nigeria would be a net  exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil by 2020.

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