No fewer than 568 agricultural projects valued at N577.3 billion have been financed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The projects were financed under the CBN’s Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
The fund statistics
CBN’s statistics obtained showed that as of the end of the third quarter of last year, the N577.3 billion was disbursed for the projects through 20 Deposit Money Banks.
An analysis of the figure showed that the highest amount of N120.16 billion was disbursed through Zenith Bank Plc to finance 75 agriculture projects.
This is followed by United Bank of Africa Plc with N81.06 billion for 50 projects, while Sterling Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and Union Bank Nigeria Plc had N72.17 billion, N42.89 billion and N28.91 billion for 42, 99 and 39 agricultural projects, respectively.
Similarly, the sum of N25.18 billion was channelled through Unity Bank for 27 projects; Stanbic IBTC, N27.66 billion for 45 projects; Access Bank, N36.66 billion for 26 projects; Fidelity Bank, N21.67 billion for 17 projects, and First City Monument Bank, N15.53 billion for 26 projects.
In the same vein, the sum of N39.85 billion was disbursed for 29 projects through Guaranty Trust Bank, while Heritage Bank, CitiBank, Wema Bank had N6.82 billion, N3 billion and N2.89 billion for 14, two and 13 projects, respectively.
What you should know about the scheme
The CBN established the CACS in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in 2009.
The scheme is a sub-component of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (CADP) and was financed from the proceeds of the N200 Billion 7 year bond raised by the Debt Management Office.
The fund is made available to participating banks to finance commercial agricultural enterprises at a maximum interest rate of 9 per cent.
The fund was set up to fast-track the development of the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy by providing credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprises at a single digit interest rate. It was also aimed at enhancing national food security by increasing food supply and effecting lower agricultural produce and product prices, thereby promoting low food inflation.