Nigerian Central Bank to support farmers with $1.1 billion loan

A pivot irrigation system is pictured ot the Thrive Agric's farm in Jere, Kaduna, Nigeria October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s central bank said it will support farmers with a 432 billion naira ($1.1 billion) loan in the 2020 wet planting season to boost food production in the West African nation.

The Abuja-based central bank will support more than one million farmers to cultivate over a million hectares of farmland, it said on its Twitter account on Thursday.

Nigeria is encouraging investment in agriculture to help diversify the economy away from oil, which accounts for more than 90% of export revenues. The central bank targets increasing output of major food and cash crops including cotton, rice, tomato, cassava, cocoa and maize.