12 July 2016
Mr Femi Coker, National President, National Farmers Association of Nigeria (NAFAN), said on Tuesday in Abuja that the association would soon establish a Farmers’ Bank with share capital of N60 billion to boost agriculture.
Coker, who was represented by NAFAN Special Adviser, Mr Dapo Adesola, made this known at the ongoing National Insurance Conference in Abuja.
He said that the proposed bank would be the first of its kind in the country.
Adesola said that inadequate funding for agriculture appears to have aggravated and deepened poverty in the country.
“In spite of the fact that the country has spent billions of Naira on agricultural development without corresponding development, an assessment of the plans and budgets revealed there was no corresponding evidence that huge sums were spent on agriculture.
“Even with the 2 per cent budgetary allocation, the fund was used in servicing the numerous agricultural bureaucracies at the federal and state levels,” he said.
The NAFAN president said that the bank would be owned by registered farmers as a remedy to the failure of government and financial institutions to evidently support farmers.
Adesola said the bank would partner with Rabo Bank in The Netherlands to assist farmers with mechanisation.
He said that the association would train and empower 100,000 Nigerian youths to become farming entrepreneurs.
Speaking on insurance as a vehicle for agricultural development, Adesola said the insurance industry was not giving farmers the necessary support for agricultural development.
He urged insurance practitioners to partner with farmers so that more farmers could purchase agricultural insurance policies.
“There are over 50,000 farmers in the country, but less than 1 per cent are insurance compliant,’’ Coker said.
He also pleaded with insurance companies to support farmers with Insurance Bond guarantee to enable them to access quick and cheap loans.
The theme of the conference is: “Expanding National Resources and Infrastructure in Challenging Times.