The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it will fund 1.6 million farmers across the agricultural value chain in the 2020 farming season through its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
This declaration was shared by Yila Yusuf, CBN director of Development Finance during the flag-off of farm inputs distribution to cotton farmers for the 2020 planting season in Kwali, Abuja.
Representing Yusuf at the event, Ayoola Quadri said CBN’s intervention was intended to improve food security in the country and that it would provide financial support to farmers who fall into the bank’s 10 focal commodities, cutting across the entire value chain.
The ABP was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 to connect anchor companies involved in processing with small holder farmers.
Under the program, farm inputs are provided to small holder farmers who supply their harvested produce to the agro-processor (anchor). The agro-processor then pays the cash equivalent into those farmer’s accounts.
Farmers benefiting from this program include those cultivating cereal, cotton, roots and tubers, sugarcane, tree crops, legumes, tomatoes and livestock.
The CBN director said 256,000 farmers in cotton production had been engaged by the apex bank for the 2020 planting season through the ABP.
Yusuf explained that CBN has reduced the interest rates on all its intervention funds from 9 per cent to 5 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while emphasizing the need for farmers to pay back their loans.
“The CBN is trying to bring back the glory of textiles of those days where the industry used to employ 10 million people across the country,.” he said.