About 14,258 farmers in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have been provided with loan in the tune of N1.75 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, through the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund ACGSF.
The ACGSF chairman, Mr. Stephen Okon, who disclosed this at the National Farmers Award on Thursday in Abuja, said out of this amount, 973,646 beneficiaries of the loan had repaid a total of N98.91bn.
He said the ACGSF has introduced new strategies to repackage and reposition the scheme for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
This, he noted, would position Nigeria to become self-sufficient in food production.
He added that the scheme is also creating millions of jobs, supplying key markets across the country and dampening the effects of exchange rate movements on local prices.
Okon also explained that the scheme has proved relatively successful in de-risking the agricultural sector in Nigeria as evidenced in the number of loans guaranteed from inception to date.
He said, “A total of 1,232,326 loans valued N130.903bn were guaranteed from inception to May 2022 out of which 973,646 beneficiaries had repaid a total of N98.91bn.
“It is worthy of note that the FCT from January to May 2022 has guaranteed a total of 82 loan beneficiaries under the scheme, valued N22.580m.
“This brought the total guaranteed loans in the FCT from inception of the scheme in 1978 to May 2022 to 14,258, valued N1.748bn.
He added that the maximum for a non-collateralized loan has increased from N20,000.00 to N100,000.00 and the maximum for a collateralized loan from N10m to N50m.
Okon added that to further encourage participants in the Scheme, the Board last year approved the increase of the Interest Draw Back rebate for farmers and participants in the agricultural value chain from 40 per cent to 50 per cent to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Branch Controller, CBN Abuja branch, Mr. Ogbu Michael while speaking at the event said that the successes achieved under the ACGSF has led to significant improvement in Deposit Money Banks’ lending to the agricultural sector.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war has affected global supply chain, noting that the CBN agric and other real sector interventions has helped in insulating the economy from external shocks.