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Sterling Bank Nigeria holds summit on $1tr agribusiness

POLICY makers, international financial institutions, value chain players and development agencies  will be part of the second Sterling Bank Agriculture Summit Africa billed for September 5 and 6 in Abuja.

The summit with the theme “Agriculture – Your Piece of The $1tr Economy,” is geared toward attainment of the $1trillion Africa agribusiness economy dream of the World Bank by 2030.

Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking, Yemi Odubiyi, said the bank and others would reposition Nigeria through agriculture to achieve food security in the continent.

He said: “Food security is a major threat in Nigeria. We will not be able to stabilise this country until we solve the issue of food security, which we are at the forefront.

‘’We are trying to address issue of food security and job creation in the country.

‘’We believe that supporting the initiative of the current administration, we will be able to solve challenges of food security.

”About 10 per cent of our loans are on agriculture because the sector is a very important area for us.

“We are working with other stakeholders for us to achieve the $1 trillion target of the World Bank by bringing back the good old days of agriculture boom where cocoa and other cash crops were faring well in the country,” he said.

Odubiyi said that during the summit, the bank would launch the Digital Stakeholders Platform to address wastages, post-harvest losses and other areas to boost the sector.

The Group Head, Agric Finance and Solid Minerals of the bank, Bukola Awosanya, said agriculture has been one of the bank’s focal areas, adding that the summit would cover the entire African continent, compared to last year, which was limited to Nigeria.

She said the bank has been in the business of promoting agriculture in the last nine years, noting that it was the first commercial bank involved in the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) having taken agriculture to be an important sector in the country.

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