Stanbic IBTC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has said it plans to increase its allocation to the agricultural sector, given the importance of the sector to job creation and economic prosperity and growth.
Speaking at a Business Leadership summit in Lagos, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, stated that.financing remains a critical component of a vibrant and sustainable agricultural sector, adding that the bank will continue to support businesses and initiatives across the entire agriculture value chain.
According to her, “We all know that agriculture is capable of creating millions of jobs across the entire value chain, drive export and the much-needed foreign exchange. We intend to continue to support that sector by increasing our allocation and providing a platform for engagement. We have a defined risk appetite for agriculture and we have structured our portfolio to ensure that we manage this risk as we support farmers in primary production as well as agro-allied businesses,” David-Borha said.
She said as the next growth sector, the focus on agriculture is not misplaced and urged stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, particularly governments and private sector players, to renew the focus through partnerships and initiatives that will maximise the sector’s potential.
Stanbic IBTC, David-Borha stated, is also committed to providing platforms like the Business Leadership Series for showcasing Nigeria’s economic potential to the world, particularly ongoing reforms in the agricultural sector, with emphasis on improvements in infrastructure, agro-industrial zones, financing and an enabling policy environment crucial to the full exploitation of the agricultural value chain and attainment of food security.
“Stanbic IBTC remains committed to the diversification drive of the federal government and we will continue to seek opportunities to showcase the country’s economic potential as well as provide financing for viable projects in agriculture and other sectors of the economy,” David-Borha said.
Stanbic IBTC continues to play a leading role in the agricultural sector and has participated in some major private sector deals across the agriculture value chain over the past few years. It has disbursed over N25 billion to farmers under key CBN agriculture credit schemes, and established an Outgrower Scheme, where smallholder farmers are matched with offtakers, among other initiatives in the agriculture sector, Head, Agriculture Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Jerry Gushop, said at the event.