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S UNDA Y PUNCH JULY 10, 20 11

Agric - Economy

24

98 % of farmers lack access to credit facilities - Report EMEKA EZEK.IEL

fadlilies. This is conlclined in a document tilled. wHousehotd Si!lvings i!lnd Credit Polity Brief: Ge neral House hold Survey Post Planllng Round 2010,~ i!I copy of which was obtained by our correspondent from the National Bureau 0 1 Statistics. in AbuJa The repor! is the fallout 0 1 the Agriculture and General Panel Survey Household conducted by the National Bureau of SIi!ltistics in collaboration with th e World "'ok II no ted thai In spi te 01 the fact thai deposit money banks u.-ere the most preferred savings institution among household fanners. many still prefel1l!d laking 1000ns from microfinance instllutioN The report sli!lled. ~ h is lmpor tanllhi!lt 84 per cenl 01 individual farmers have no access to formal 50lvmgs and 98.8 per cent have no i!lccess to lormal credit. However, loan-taking from coopeRltives .....as most frequent among

category. educated Microfinanee organisations had a high frequency of use by individuals seeking credit with 21 per cent of uneduClIted individuals la kIng credit with II mittofinance organisation.' The Acting

Statistician General of Nigeria. A1haji Rasaq $anus!. who confirmed the Teporl • told our conesponclenl that the inability of sma1I~ holder fanners to have (>a5}' lI(CHI to credit facilities had hampered their ability to purchase modern equipmen t to boost food production. He said. ~ If farmers have access to credi t facili ties. they will be able to buy modern equipment which win boost their capacity to produce more food for local consumption and for expoft. "In the past decades. Nigeria was lilgging behind in producing sufficient and accurate agricultural production 51I1ti~tic! Thus. It has eKperienced substantial gaps in producing adequate and timely data to inform policy.making In order to achieve the goal of produd ng reliable and umeiy household and agriculluraJ sti!ltistics, the Bureau hu started the im plemen tation 01 i!l n innovi!ltJVe model lor

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collecting agllcultural ~Ia in Nigeria The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Mr. Lamido Sanusl. had. on Tuesday, la men ted tMI Nigerians were spending a whopping J'1163(J:m annuaUy on the impor ta tion 01 food ilems. According 10 him. wheat constitu tes the la rgest amount with J'IIl6Sbn, wh ite fish INIOSbnl. rice (N75bn). and sugar (J'II6Obn) followed in thaot order Spealung during the stakeholders' conference o n the J'IIigeria IncentiveBased Risk Sharing Syslem for Agricultural lending. the CBN boss noted tha t in spite of the fad that agriculture contribu ted 45 per cenl \0 the country's Gross Domestic Product, the sector got a paltry fou r pe r cent of the Federal Government·s tolal annual budget. He slated that if the ugly trend was not reversed. the cou ntry's dream of growing the i!lgriculrural sector's output from N15 25ln 10 N39.4tn by 2030. u. ould be ill mirage. Sanusi 5i!Iid. "Gross underfunding of the sector is a major challenge AS exemplified by the fiKl Iha l less tha n lour per cent o f the ~eTal Government budget had been allocated to agricultu re since 2006.·

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Wt Oltin distinguished monbo; RPtarian

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Olayinka Babalola on his insinllation as

CtII'mIor 2011//2012 ofdlt Rotory Inlm1alional, District 9'40· We all lndtLd proud ofyrJUr mnobling virtutS of srlf/tsS stTVice wmankind \114' wlslt you a sucassful llnun as you TlOd, widrin to tmbrna IwmalJity

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THE PUNCH, 10 JULY, 2011