Deeper knowledge and understanding of the agricultural business among value chain enablers such as banks and donor agencies can go a long way toward improving the Nigerian economy significantly, an official has said.
Kenneth Osanebi, who is the Head, Project Monitoring and Remediation Office (PMRO), Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), made this known on Monday in Ibadan at a five-day training on Agricultural Value Chain (AVC).
The training with the title: ‘Agricultural Value Chain Upgrade Services to Achieve National, Regional and Global Competitiveness’, was organised for value chain enablers.
“The commercial banks need to have a deeper knowledge of what it is to donate to agriculture they must understand the dynamics; you cannot lend to a business man if you don’t understand his business.
“The essence of the programme is to broaden the mind and then to have the deeper knowledge of agriculture when it comes to financing it; how do you handle various risk that are inherent in agriculture.
“It’s not by running away from it but rather coming up with ways to identify the risk and mitigating this risk, it is not by running away which commercial banks do normally.
“Agribusiness is very risky they run away NIRSAL is saying no, don’t run away, identifying the risk, let us look at the risk together; let us come up with ways that we can mitigate the risk.”
In his remarks, Mr Akinola Bamiji, Development Finance Officer, Central Bank of Nigeria, lauded NIRSAL for helping Nigerian farmers to be productive through its activities.
“What NIRSAL is trying to do is to fix agricultural value chain from beginning to the end.
“We have been talking of financing of production, farmers will go to farm to cultivate and at the end of the day when they harvest there will be nobody to buy the produce from them.
“Now NIRSAL is looking at it from input to the faming activities (production) up to the processing, warehousing (storage) and marketing to get the people who will produce it into finished goods.
“That is what NIRSAL is standing for; if you do well as a bank you will get incentives; if you do well on agri-business, you will get incentives from NIRSAL,” Bamiji said.