Abuja, Oct. 21, 2023: Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the Federal government to reduce agriculture interest loan to single digit to help transform the agribusiness.
Obasanjo said this on Friday in Abuja at the Launch of Youths in Agribusiness project with the theme: Enabling scaling of innovative technologies for sustainable food solutions.
He said if youths have to go to bank to borrow money at the rate of 20% interest it would be difficult for them to succeed in agric business.
He thereby appealed to the federal government to find a way that youths can get access to finance at the right rate for Agriculture.
” I believe any interest that is more than single digit is not good enough for agriculture.” He said.
According to him, IITA, FAO and other agricultural stakeholders have done tremendous work in providing the right seed, hybrid seed, high yielding seed and knowledge that we can use to transform the agribusiness sector.
But we need more of these scientific and technological products in the farmer’s hand so that the farmer can be better on what they get interms of yields.”
He said Food production, food security and nutritional security is very important in our country and there is also need to create jobs for the teeming population of youth in the country.
Amb. Wouter Plomp, of the kingdom of Netherlands, said the Youth agribusiness program would be a three year initiative inspired by Nigerian tenacity and a sprinkle of Dutch innovation to support 8000 young agripreneurs.
He said the goal was to combat food insecurity by empowering youths to get access to finance and connect young agripreneurs with local and international market by ensuring that the produce find it place on the table around the world.
According to him, the aim is not only to ensure Nigeria’s food security but also place the Nation at the forefront of global agricultural innovation.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar kyari said 2023 world food day campaign takes water action for food by encouraging it wise utilization to ensure stability in food security.
The Minister who was represented by Engr. Adegbenro Adebiyi, Director Agribusiness and Market Development said the aim of the project was to provide opportunities that would save and restore livelihoods and reduce food insecurity in Nigeria.
Ms Aline Mugisho, CGIAR country convener for Nigeria and YAS Team lead said the Youth in Agribusiness was to create agribusiness enterprises using innovative climate smart technologies to boost food production.
She said the project would enpower Nigerian youths to scale climate smart agricultural biotechnologies and innovation and exposed them to digitalisation.
According to her, the project will expose youths to economic opportunities available along the value chains of yam, cassava, soybean, groundnut, maize, horticulture, aquaculture and poultry.