The African Initiative for Rural and Agriculture Development (AIRAD) has urged the federal government to involve the private sector in the disbursement and recovery of loans to farmers in the country.
Chairman and Countries Coordinator of AIRAD, Alhaji Boboi Aliyu, stated this while addressing journalists ahead of the Agriculture African Summit scheduled for next month in Abuja.
Alhaji Aliyu said that financing agriculture should not be vested only on government but should be a collective responsibility of all, especially the private sector.
He expressed concern on the inability of some farmers to pay back the loans they obtained from commercial banks due to improper management and lack of necessary information to guide them before disbursing the loans.
The AIRAD coordinator said the theme of the forthcoming agriculture summit is ‘Developing a Sustainable System for Agriculture Poverty Alleviation’and is aimed at addressing the numerous problems facing the agricultural sector.
He called on African governments to peg interest rate on agriculture loan at 3 per cent on single digit as practiced internationally.
Alhaji Aliyu lamented that the problems facing agriculture in the continent have to do with a number of factors which include high interest rate on loans, poor organised market, limited agro processing and value addition as well as the preponderance on rain fed agriculture to irrigation.