Heritage Bank Limited has reiterated its commitment to further deepen the drive to support agribusiness value-chain in order to fast track food security and sufficiency in the country.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, who disclosed this, stated that in a bid to support food sufficiency, the lender would not relent in boosting the agric base of the nation and making farming profitable to stakeholders and attractive to the youth.
Specifically, he affirmed that the bank would focus in supporting the agric space via financing farmers to adopt modern technologies; as the funding will bring about transformative development in the sector.
According to him, the bank will support the drive for cash crop commodities that will boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
The bank’s Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Mr. Olugbenga Awe, also said the bank was committed to the development of agribusiness and the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.
“Our support cuts across the entire value-chain with focus on large corporates and smallholder farmers. We encourage value addition and ultimately export,” he said.
He, however, noted that the bank’s support goes beyond food sufficiency to increasing cash crop commodities that would boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
Awe hinted that the bank was tackling the bottlenecks since it has long identified the opportunities in agribusiness, thereby offering solutions to ease of doing business in the sector.
He said, “For ease of financing, we would be better off with functional commodity exchanges as a country. We can start by refinancing commodities through warehousing receipt systems. Gradually we will move to crop receipt. With commodities exchange, the value-chain is strengthened and the whole system is structured. Exchange helps in reducing the long marketing chain, it helps in the enforcement of commodity standards, it provides price certainty and in some cases storage and warehousing facilities.”