The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has asked the need for the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) to enhance the entire value chain of agriculture by empowering farmers across the country.
The local economy is generated by farmers and small-scale traders is according to the governor what has been sustaining the economy of the country for a very long time.
The governor stated this on Wednesday at a State Award Ceremony for the “Best Farmer Of The Year 2020” held at the Katsina Local Govt Service Commission.
Masari lamented the fact that those who make value addition make more money than the farmers, he maintained that efforts need to be intensified by the CBN to reach out to the farmers.
“Our farmers are mainly producers of raw grains without any value addition. Certainly, we have not seen the level of practical intervention in Agriculture like what we saw within the last five to six years.
“If you look at the investments in other sectors of the economy, you will find out that what goes to the Agriculture is only a faction. Whereas Agriculture that provides the mainstream of the economy”, he said.
Governor Masari appreciating the effort of the CBN in the last two years further observed that access to funds under agriculture should be made easier and simpler for farmers to access, going by the CBN’s impressive record of 80 percent loans given to farmers refunded.
“The problem is the commercial banks. A lot also needs to be done by the commercial banks to see that there is money to be made in investment in Agriculture. Most of our commercial banks are interested in traders, oil dealers, and importers to get more profit but not farmers. This is in fear of low return which is more sustaining.
“Profit without Development will not take us as far as we want to go. So there is a need for FastTrack development in Agriculture, small-scale enterprises in order to sustain the economy and start looking away from oil to other sectors which are more reliable and which we also have control over.
” When I say investment in Agriculture, I also mean investment in livestock, it’s another angle which we are not looking at all”. he added.
The Katsina population currently stands at over eight million with over 7.5 million are directly farmers.