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Nigeria to receive $210 mln loan for agricultural sector

Nigeria to receive $210 mln loan for agricultural sector
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Workers in a field on a farm in Kaduna, Nigeria, April 28, 2021. REUTERS/Avolabi Sotonde/File Photo

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LAGOS (Reuters) – The African Development Bank will loan Nigeria $210 million to support small farmers in the production of strategic crops and livestock, the African Development Bank said on Tuesday.

The financing is the first loan under the African Development Bank program designed to reduce logistics costs. The African Development Bank said the program initially targets seven states in Nigeria before extending to 17 other African countries.

“The project will support Nigeria’s efforts to increase agricultural productivity, encourage investment, create wealth and jobs, and transform rural areas into corridors of economic prosperity,” the bank said in a statement.

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During an investment summit in Saudi Arabia in October, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that Africa’s most populous country has several million hectares of arable land set aside for agricultural areas.

The African Development Bank said other partners, such as the Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, would co-finance the project.

The average Nigerian farm has an area of ​​1.8 hectares, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the country depends on imports to feed its population of 200 million.

Many fields are hand-operated on low-return farms from land completely lacking in irrigation despite years of government interest and millions of dollars in targeted central bank loans.

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(Reporting by MacDonald Dzerotoy) Editing by David Goodman

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