Government should help farmers access loans

From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Professor Remy Onyekachi Mejeha of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) described agriculture as the main productive sector of the Nigerian economy and as such the government should help farmers access loans to enable people involved in the business to use the factors of production in order to generate income for the survival of the country.

Professor Mejeha said it in the auditorium of MOUAU during the 50th inaugural conference of the institution he presented.

Presenting the inaugural lesson entitled “Financial intermediation in agriculture: a hidden treasure mobilized for the creation of wealth”, the professor of agricultural economics revealed that financial intermediaries fulfill the function of intermediary by providing funds for agriculture.

Describing financial intermediation in agriculture as the role that financial institutions play in providing funds to stakeholders, in order to maximize production, Prof Mejeha said the Nigerian government should encourage farmers to access loans. .

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Enumerating the functions of financial intermediaries, foremost among which is the production of information, especially with regard to the solvency of potential borrowers, the 50th keynote speaker said that actors in the agricultural sector should be able to make good use of them.

“Lenders and borrowers are not equally informed of the details of their transactions. In other words, financial intermediaries have more information than borrowers about financial instruments, ”he said.

Prof Mejeha said that financial intermediation is intended to provide finance services to different economic units, including agriculture.

“The production units in agriculture,” Prof Mejeha said, “include individual farmers, family farms, group farms, cooperative farms under different names”. These production units generate income and invest in real assets, so they need Financial Intermediation. ‘

Regarding the “concept of hidden treasure” in his inaugural lecture labeled the Golden Inaugural Lecture, Prof. Mejeha said that there are huge unproductive agricultural treasures inside farmland.

These treasures, he said, include unexploited crop plantations, rubber plantations, cashew and cocoa plantations, and agro-forestry resources.

He said Nigeria should pay a lot of attention to agriculture as the oil wells would soon dry up and the nation would fall back on agriculture.

Earlier, while declaring the 59th inaugural lecture open, the Institution’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe said he was optimistic that Prof Mejeha, with his inaugural lecture, would offer a solution. to the dwindling fortune of the Naira and, by extension, to the Nigerian economy. .

He promised to ensure that despite the fact that the inaugural conferences are capital intensive, the Institution should have his as frequent as it should be.

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