BUSINESS FEC approves N23bn ADB loan for agric
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $152m loan (about N23 billion) granted by the African Development Bank (ADB) for the development of agriculture in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after the FEC meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The minister noted that the loan attracted 1.5 per cent interest rate and was repayable in 22 years.
He said the loan would be utilised to provide rural areas with such physical infrastructure as roads, irrigation and portable water as well as social infrastructure like electricity, sanitation and healthcare. The loan, he added, would also be used for agro-processing development, value addition, market information system for farmers in those areas, expansion of access to financial service and crops insurance. Adesina listed Anambra, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto as stated t benefit from the loan which, he said, would be used to develop staple crop processing zones across the country.
The minister said six of the 14 master plans developed for the staple cross processing zones nationwide had been completed.
According to him, the processing zones cover commodities like rice, cassava, cotton, sorghum, aqua culture, livestocks and other production.
He said 120, 000 jobs, including jobs for 36,000 women, would be created in the staple crop processing zones.
The minister also disclosed that this would add 20 million metric tones of food to the nation’s food production.
The zones to be focussed on, he said, were Adani-Omo in Ebonyi and Enugu States for rice and cassava; the Bida and Badegi for rice; Kano and Jigawa for rice tomato and shorghum; Kebbi and Sokoto for rice and sorghum.