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By agronigeria, November 29, 2017
Heineken LokpobiriThe Federal Government has observed that more foreigners are doing business in the agricultural sector and presupposed that this is likely due to the high interest rates banks demand from local agriculture entrepreneurs.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, made the observation on the sidelines of a seminar held in Abuja. The seminar was organised by the Danish Embassy in Nigeria on value development in the country’s food and agriculture sector.
In his comments, the Minister submitted that low access to finance was a major challenge impeding the development of the agricultural sector from within.
“The major challenge bedevilling this industry is access to finance. Agricultural financing in Nigeria is too costly; for even at nine per cent you can’t find it. They will ask you for all forms of collateral, the CBN will say bring your father’s house, bring this, bring that.
And that is why if you look at it now, foreigners are taking over the agro sector here; either from India, they get it (loan) at three or four per cent, or from Europe at two or three per cent. But here, it is 30 per cent and they (banks) are not even willing to give. The only way you can compete with others is for you to have cheap funds that will reduce your production costs,” he said.
Lokpobiri explained that Nigeria’s economic state over the years had allowed the banking sector hold the country hostage with high interest rates, adding that it was for this reason the government often borrowed less from the domestic market.
He emphasised that countries which invested in agriculture earned more revenue than Nigeria and that oil production was not the solution for boosting the economy.
“Denmark, with a population of about five million people and less land mass than Nigeria, has a net agro export worth over €80billion. Now, ask yourself this question, how many billion dollars do we get from oil export? This clearly shows that there is more profit in agro investment than even in oil investment,” he said.
https://agronigeria.com.ng/fg-raises-concerns-agric-sector-domination-by-foreigners/

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Mobile: +234 (803) 3174409...................sssss