Nairametrics| The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its quest to encourage Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in food production may have caused unintended consequences for other food crops.
Farmers that were hitherto involved in farming tomatoes have switched to wheat and rice production. The CBN had recently given farmers loans under its Anchor Borrowers Scheme to cultivate those crops.
The drop in production of tomatoes has led to an increase in the price of a basket of tomatoes from between 400 to 500 naira per basket, to 3000 naira per basket. Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, Managing Director of the Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Kadawa, Kano state disclosed this recently. The company was thus forced to purchase fresh tomatoes from farmers in Gombe and Sokoto States.
The Anchor Borrowers Scheme was established by the CBN in January 2016. N220 billion naira was set aside for farmers. Banks access loans under the scheme for 2%, and are to lend to farmers at a maximum 9%. Farmers are then expected to sell their produce to an Agro processor (which is called the anchor), who pays cash into their account.