By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos
The federal government has again reiterated its resolve to provide incentives that will boost agriculture development and also encourage more private sector initiative in the sector.
The assurance is coming as an initiative of a vibrant private sector-led agricultural financing received a boost with the successful closing of the $ 65.9 million money for the Fund Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN), a private fund initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
The fund aims at providing financial, capacity-building and technical assistance to selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Nigerian agribusiness sector, and managed by Sahel Capital, an agribusiness-focused private equity firm.
A total of $31 million have been jointly committed to FAFIN fund by the African Development Bank, CDC Group (managing DFID Impact Fund) and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (managed by Triple Jump), joining existing co‐sponsors of the fund to drive agricultural transformation in Nigeria.
Also, the German Development Bank (KfW) has offered to increase its commitments to FAFIN by an additional $10 million, subject to final approvals, which if provided would increase the fund size to $76 million by December 2017.
FAFIN, co-sponsored by Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Finance, KfW, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), was initially launched in 2014 with $32.8 million in commitments.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has expressed the full commitment of his ministry “towards the development of the agricultural sector.”