(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. has entered a partnership with Lagos-based social enterprise Babban Gona to increase lending to local smallholder farmers in a bid to boost agricultural output in Africa’s most populous country.

Babban Gona will administer a $10 million Citigroup Inc. financing to about 41,000 small farmers in the West African nation, it says in an emailed statement. Even though agriculture contributes a third of Nigeria’s economic output, it attracts less than 5% of bank loans.

The facility will enable farmers improve income by 350% per hectare, Babban Gona said. The organization has extended nearly $200 million in loans to over 280,000 smallholder farmers, since its establishment in 2012.

The funding forms part of Citigroup’s $1 trillion global commitment to sustainable financing by 2030. The bank will do more and partner with more organizations once projects like that of Babban Gona is successful, Ireti Ogbu, chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc.’s Nigerian unit said. 

“There are a pipeline of projects under consideration,” she said.

Citigroup plans to use its worldwide network to help fintechs tap into the global financial market over the next few years.

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