A new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on agriculture is poised to reduce the N630-billion spent on imports annually.
CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said Nigeria imports N165-billion worth of wheat, N105- billion worth of fish, N75-billion on rice and N60-billion on sugar annually.
Sanusi was speaking at a stakeholders’ conference on Nigeria’s Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
NIRSAL, which cost N77.5-billion to set up, is an innovative mechanism aimed at de-risking agriculture in order to motivate banks to increase lending to the sector.
NIRSAL is a venture between the CBN and the Alliance for Green Revolution In Africa (AGRA).
Agricultural production has declined significantly due to various existing challenges, particularly inadequate financing.
The federal government has promised to fast track the supply of power and develop the infrastructure needed to revive agriculture.
In the last five years, the agricultural sector contributed about 40% of the GDP.