FG Earmarks N242b For Agric Development

The Federal Government has earmarked a whopping N242 billion (US$1.6 billion) for developing the country’s commercial agriculture in the next three years.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who disclosed this yesterday at the closing ceremony of a three-day high-level Conference on Development of Agribusiness and Agro-industries in Africa, held in Abuja, also said that the Central Bank of Nigeria had provided some banks with additional N200 billion (US$1.33 million) in credit funds at single digit interest rates to support activites in the commercial agribusiness sector, adding that Nigeria’s cotton-textile garment industry had equally attracted another N100 billion (US$600 million) bailout fund.

Jonathan, who formally declared the conference closed, explained that the N242 billion was meant to take care of production, processing, storage and market infrastructure development spanning over three years.

In his words, “In order to facilitate the development of agriculture as the engine for broad-based economic development in Nigeria, the Federal Government has set aside N242 billion (US$1.6 billion) towards commercial agriculture, especially in the areas of production, processing, storage and market infrastructure development over the next three years.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided selected banks with additional N200 billion in credit funds at single digit interest rates to support activities in the commercial agribusiness sector. Also, the revival and development of Nigeria’s cotton-textile garment industry has attracted another N100 billion (US$600 million) support.”