The National President of Northeast Commodity Association (NECAS), Alhaji Sadiq Deware has confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), has approved a credit facility of N14.9 billion to the association.
Deware said under the programme, 27,000 farmers would benefit while 75,000 hectares of land would be cultivated in the four participating states.
The beneficiaries of the credit facility, according to Deware, are farmers mainly affected by the insurgency in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe states. Borno State was not included as a result of the insecurity in the state.
The credit facility would cover all the commodities that the Northeast have comparative advantage of producing which include rice, maize, millet, sorghum and even small ruminants amongst others.
The inputs would be given to farmers in form of loans that are expected to be paid back in installments.
What the CBN Anchor Borrower’s Scheme is all about
In its bid to promote and fully tap into the county’s potentials in Agriculture, the apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria established the Anchor Borrower Scheme. The initiative was launched in 2017 with the aim of creating a link between anchor companies and small-scale farmers. Currently, more than 80 percent of farmers in Nigeria are smallholder farmers.
This link between smallholder farmers and large-scale processors (Anchors) is expected to increase outputs and significantly improve the capacity of the processor.
Figures from the press-reader show that annually, a staggering 1.3 billion tons of food is lost after harvesting due to improper preservation methods and lack of processing facility.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures also shows that Agriculture’s contribution to GDP in Nigeria increased to ₦5.2 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 from ₦3.7 trillion in the second quarter of 2017.
GDP from Agriculture in Nigeria has averaged ₦3 trillion from 2010 until 2017 when it reached its all-time high with an increase of about ₦2 trillion in the third quarter of 2017. Agriculture remains a dominant sector in the country and accounts for the employment of about 60% of its workforce in the rural areas.