Sterling Bank Plc, is proposing a loan scheme, with a five per cent interest rate, with capacity to provide up to 10 million naira (about $27,777) to a potential beneficiary of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) trained agripreneur. The scheme offers a loan tenure of seven years and moratorium of up to 18 months for the principal and six months for interest.

This is part of a partnership currently being explored by the bank with IITA, on an agribusiness financing loan scheme for “agripreneurs” who have been trained and mentored by the Institute.

The agribusiness financing scheme known as the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) is a voluntary initiative of the Bankers’ Committee to support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s efforts and policy measures for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for sustainable economic development and employment generation.

A team from Sterling Bank in line with the vision has paid a visit to IITA’s headquarters in Ibadan, to conduct a sensitization workshop for the Institute and the IITA Youth Agripreneurs on the loan scheme.

Enlightening the participants, the team lead from the bank, Bukola Awosanya who is also the Group Head, Agriculture and Export Finance, said that the scheme is targeted towards improving access to affordable and sustainable finance by agribusinesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), creating employment opportunities in Nigeria, and boosting the managerial capacity of agribusinesses and MSMEs to grow into large corporate organizations in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to develop the real sector and promote inclusive growth.