THE Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said that Nigerians spend a total of about N25 billion on foods daily.
Also, NIRSAL said a total of about $623 million is spent annually on catfish importation into Nigeria, a country said to have about 71.2 million cultivable hectares of land.
The Executive Director, Nirsal plc, Mr Aro Afejide, dropped the hint at a three-day workshop organised for bankers in Kaduna, on Wednesday.
He said that $623 million is spent on dairy importation, $500 million spent on sugar importation and $4 billion spent on wheat importation.
While another $2.2 billion is spent on cotton importation and $2 billion is spent on rice importation annually.
According to him, his organisation held the capacity building workshop for bankers because of lack of trust between bankers and farmers.
Commenting further, he disclosed that at the end of November 2015, NIRSAL had trained 8,500 rice farmers in Kebbi State in addition to 27,142 farmers nationwide.
‘Out of this, 15,000 cocoa farmers were trained in Abia, Cross River, Edo, Ekiti and Osun States, while 1,822 cotton farmers were trained in Katsina and Zamfara States. About 500 rice farmers were trained in Kano-Hadejia.
Afejide said a total of 104 bank agriculture desk officers had been trained nationwide on agricultural value chain financing.
A Regional Director with UBA, Mr Danjuma Salihu, said his bank had been agricultural-friendly, adding that they were aware of the risks inherent in agric lending and how to mitigate them.
A credit analyst with Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Olukayode Oyebamgbose said because of the change in government direction, many will be going into agricultural business.