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Obasanjo: Affordable Financing, Stable Policies Vital for Enhancing Food Production

Former President Obasanjo Urges Government Action on Cheap Credit and Policy Consistency for Food Production Boost

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, has emphasized the critical need for the government to facilitate access to affordable credit and maintain policy consistency to empower farmers and enhance food production in the country.

Obasanjo’s remarks come amidst growing concerns over food inflation and nutrition security in Africa’s most populous nation. Speaking at the 9th Agrofood & Plastprintpack conference in Lagos on Tuesday, Obasanjo stressed that farmers require stable policies and low-interest loans to drive sectoral growth and achieve food security.

“Policymakers must ensure sustainability and predictability to aid farmers in planning effectively,” Obasanjo, who is also a farmer, asserted during the conference. “Access to finance is equally essential; farmers cannot thrive under double-digit interest rates.”

Highlighting the significance of food and nutrition security, Obasanjo underscored that availability and affordability are paramount. He emphasized that agriculture and agribusiness are fundamental to achieving these objectives.

Moreover, Obasanjo emphasized the transformative potential of agriculture in Nigeria’s economy, citing its capacity to generate income, employment opportunities, and enhance food security. He stressed the need to make agriculture appealing to the country’s youth population to address unemployment, insecurity, and migration challenges.

“The allure of agriculture must be revitalized among youths to mitigate unemployment and insecurity,” Obasanjo advised. “Agro-food and agribusiness are pivotal for food security, wealth creation, and foreign exchange earnings.”

Echoing Obasanjo’s sentiments, Wouter Plom, the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, highlighted the shared challenges faced by both countries in meeting the needs of a growing population with limited resources. Plom emphasized the Netherlands’ commitment to partnering with Nigeria to bolster the agricultural sector, focusing on economic growth, improved diets, and youth employment.

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Similarly, Paul Maerz, managing director of Fairtrade Messe, expressed optimism about Nigeria’s agricultural prospects with increased investment in agro-food and plastprintpack solutions, products, and technologies.