Sterling Bank Plc has entered into a partnership with Mercy Corps to train more than 90, 000 farmers on better agricultural practices to improve output and grow the sector.
The programme, Feed The Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity is a five-year programme funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the USAID’s Feed the Future Project.
Giving details of the intervention during the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which held virtually, Group Head, Agriculture, and Solid Mineral Finance, Sterling Bank, Bukola Awosanya, was quoted in a statement to have noted that the partnership was in tandem with the financial institution’s commitment to the economic recovery of the country as recession and food inflation bite harder.
Awosanya, said Sterling Bank which has consistently worked to stimulate the growth of Nigeria’s economy for six decades, understands that working with relevant stakeholders is critical and, therefore, is at the heart of the bank’s professional service and interventionist policies.
She added that: “Our commitment to critical sectors: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation (HEART) has brought together our collaboration with Mercy Corps Nigeria.
“We are excited about how this programme will impact not only agribusiness in the country but also the lives of the beneficiaries.
“Agriculture is pivotal to our strategy as a financial institution. It had been clear to us before now that Nigeria will only prosper when we place priority on core areas of our national life.
We have remained faithful to this strategy for years and this MOU represents an expression of our faith in the agribusiness value chain as well as its place in economic recovery and development” Awosanya stated.
Country Director at Mercy Corps Nigeria, Ndubuisi Anyanwu, said the USAID’s Feed The Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity became necessary considering the need to support critical sectors and stakeholders in parts of Nigeria as the international organisation had done in other countries of the world.
He added that working with a well-known agribusiness finance leader such as Sterling Bank is not a coincidence but rather a deliberate attempt to improve impact using the bank’s many years of commitment and expertise in financing the sector.
In her remarks, Chief of Party, Feed The Future Nigeria, Rural Resilience Activity, Margarita Aswani, pointed out that her organisation believes that ensuring economic recovery and development is one of the many ways to expand opportunities for every citizen.
She noted that Sterling Bank’s role was critical to the process.