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Poor access to finance threatens livestock farmers – CBN

Lack of access to finance from formal financial institutions has been identified as a major threat to livestock farmers in Nigeria, as less than 20 per cent of aggregate commercial banks’ credit meant for agriculture goes to the livestock subsector.

The Director, Development Finance Department of the CBN, Dr Mudashiru Olaitan, disclosed this on Monday in Kano in his keynote address, at a workshop on Sustainable Financing of Livestock Development in Nigeria.

He noted that the livestock subsector, accounted for one-third of Nigeria’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product.

Olaitan said the unwholesome scenario, informed the decision of the CBN to organise the workshop,in order to sensitise and educate livestock farmers on how to access loans, to enhance their fortunes.

According to him, the subsector, comprising herds of cows, sheep and goats provides edible products, such as meat, egg, milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt, as well as non-edibles drawn from hides and skin, feathers, horns and fur.

However, Olaitan enumerated the myriad of problems encountered in the livestock production to include lack of access to finance, adding that most livestock farmers, typically finance their investments from their meagre and other informal sources.

‘’There is often little or no access to finance from formal financial institutions. In general, less than 20 per cent of aggregate commercial banks’ credit to agriculture goes to the livestock subsector and much of that to poultry.’’

In an interview, the representatives of farmers at the occasion, Alhaji Bala Mai Turare, said the workshop was  an ongoing exercise, aimed at improving their dwindling fortunes.

By Ted Odogwu, Kano (PUNCH)