The Federal Government and the Senate have expressed fears over high interests charged by banks on loans given to farmers as well as lack of agriculture stakeholders to mount pressure of Nigeria’s political class especially lawmakers on food policies for the country.
The two governments believed that this failure could affect about 3.7 million citizens to suffer food insecurity across in the country.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh, who lamented the high interest charges by various banks on loans to farmers said if the rate was not reviewed immediately, it would worsen food production in the country.
Chief OgbeH stated this during the second conference of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Policy Project organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The Minister noted that many banks were still charging between 25 per cent and 9 per cent on loans saying that “That is the main reason many farmers failed to repay their loans because they are still using desolate tools, hoes and cutlasses which could not give mass production.”
He charged all stakeholders to address the issue as well as take to farm mechanisation process as precautionary motive to protect Nigeria’s population from starvation.
In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said that without continuous pressure on lawmakers who have influence on budget implementation, food security in Nigeria would be in mirage.