The Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN, Anchor Borrowers Programme has so far empowered about 2.59 million farmers with the sum of N490.2 billion.
The 2.59 million farmers according to CBN figures have cultivated
3,097,834 hectares of farmland across some commodities under the programme.
The commodities are cassava, cotton, fish, groundnut, maize, poultry, rice, soya beans, wheat, cattle, sorghum, ginger, castor seed, sesame, tomato, cocoa, yellow pepper, oil palm, cowpea and onion.
The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 in Kebbi State has proven to be a game-changer in the financing of Smallholder farmers in Nigeria as it has revolutionized agricultural financing and has remained the fulcrum of our agricultural transformation initiatives.
Beyond being a tool for economic empowerment, job creation, and wealth redistribution, it has also galvanized financial inclusion in our rural communities.
Since the launch of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, rice has remained the focal crop under the Programme. This is in realization of the crucial role of rice as a major staple in the diet of average Nigerians.
With regard to the new window for funding through the Differentiate Cash Reserves Requirement option under the Real Sector Support Facility, a total of thirty-seven applications valued at N194.6bn were received by the CBN in line with the resolve to channel better, and long-term capital flow to the real sector to encourage local manufacturing, bolster economic recovery and stimulate growth.
Thus, from inception to end-September 2020, the sum of N166.2bn for a
total of 25 projects had been disbursed under the Scheme.
Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele had said with a population of over 200 million people, the importation of any major food item will continually drain the country’s external reserves, export its jobs to countries where those food items are produced and distort the Nigeria’s commodity value chains.
When these happen, he said the country would not be able to guarantee the supply of raw materials for its agro-allied companies.
He said the CBN is leading the agricultural revolution because the government’s economic and financial policies will amount to nothing if the nation cannot address the volatility of food prices.
Beyond rice, he said the Commodity Association Window has been expanded to cover more commodities like maize, cassava, sorghum, soy bean, and ginger among others adding that all these efforts will contribute to the national aggregates and galvanize the CBN drive to economic diversification.
He said, “The partnership with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria under the Commodity Association Window of the ABP was a flag-ship programme to explore the potentials inherent in Agricultural Commodity Associations and position them strategically as drivers of enhanced agricultural productivity in Nigeria.
“Linking the Associations to the innovative financing model under the ABP delivered quality inputs and mechanization services to farmers at a competitive price and the right time.
“From a modest pilot of 75,000 farmers in 26 states, the RIFAN-CBN ABP has now been fully established in all States of the Federation and the FCT.
“Food is a necessity of life and we must sustain our efforts to galvanize agricultural production to meet the requirements of our growing population.
“We cannot continue to dwell on the neglect of past years, the next best time to correct those mistakes is now and every stakeholder must contribute to the effort to guarantee the realization of the national goals of food security and economic diversification.
“Our future is bright as a country, but we must continue to take those little steps that will take us to the desired destination.”