WASHINGTON, March 23, 2017 — The World Bank today approved a $200 million credit to further support the Government of Nigeria in its efforts to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium scale farmers in participating states.
“Agriculture is key to long-term economic growth and diversification,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “The project supports the country policy thrusts on food security, local production, job creation and economic diversification. It responds to the recurring issues of low productivity, limited farmers’ participation to agribusiness supply chains, and institutional realignment in the agricultural sector.”
The project will help increase increase agricultural productivity and production, improve processing and marketing, foster job creation, and increase household income and livelihood in participating states. The project will benefit women and youth businesses such as horticulture, poultry and aquaculture
The project will tackle the key constraints of the Nigeria agriculture sector, such as low productivity, lack of seed funds for establishing agro-processing plants, lack of access to supportive infrastructure, and low level of technology adoption and limited access to markets.
“Priority value chains under the project will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, products with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings (cocoa and cashew) and enhancement of the national production of crops including rice, maize, cassava and wheat,” said El Hadj Adama Toure, Lead Agriculture Specialist at the World Bank. “The number of project’s direct beneficiaries is 60,000 individuals, 35 percent of which will be women. Overall, about 300,000 farm household members are indirect beneficiaries.”
The credit is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s grant and low-interest arm. It will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.