In the midst of an unfavourable crude oil trading, the Federal Government has decided to lay its hope in agriculture.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been advised by the Federal Government to reduce the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) interest rate on loans to farmers to five per cent.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh mentioned this yesterday, stating agriculture will not blossom if lending stays at 25 per cent.

READ: Manufacturers association calls on Agric minister to lift ban on Raw Materials

He said: “Just this morning, I talked to key officials of NIRSAL group in the CBN. We have to bring interest rate to five per cent".

“How we do it and how the financial institution will work to cope with it (will be worked out), we have to impose serious financial penalties on defaulters otherwise, we will not survive. There is no point pretending we are going to make it in spite of those circumstances.”

The government is hoping to consolidate its efforts to strengthen the economy by pooling from the vast potential of agriculture, thereby encouraging farmers who are the chief architects in the drawing.