Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural lending (NIRSAL) has mapped out modalities to train Agriculture Desk Officers of commercial banks and other key stakeholders in Value Chain Finance so as to guarantee food sufficiency in Nigeria.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhammed, stated this in Abuja at a media briefing to wrap up a three-day training programme for NIRSAL staff executed by the International Training Centre (ITC), an offshoot of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
According to him, NIRSAL collaborated with ITC-ILO to equip its staff, officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and workers of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), with the knowledge of agricultural value chains in order to collaboratively provide stakeholders with a better understanding and solutions to the issues related to developing efficient and effective value chains for key commodities in Nigeria.
“With that, we are contributing significantly to the further growth of the Nigerian agricultural sector. That is the first phase of the training programme.
“The second phase of the training will target at least 11 financial institutions and provide participants with value chain finance methodologies to ensure that finance can be created and accessible to every segment of the agricultural value chain.
At NIRSAL, we will continue to promote a culture of learning, innovation and leadership and focus on skills upgrade which will enable us to provide technical assistance to all players in the agricultural value chain, which will, in turn, improve agribusiness in Nigeria”, Abdulhammed explained.
He reiterated that NIRSAL’s core responsibility remains to de-risk the agriculture value chain so that banks can lend to the sector with confidence.
“Because we must de-risk Nigerian agricultural value chain and provide technical assistance that will help the banks to lend sustainably to agriculture, so that producers can borrow and use loans more effectively to increase output of better quality agricultural products; it is imperative that we, the catalyst, our stakeholders and financiers, understand the sustainable development of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria.