The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has flagged off the distribution of cash and inputs to cocoa farmers under the Anchors Borrowers Programme.
The flag-off took place in Akure, Ondo state and was duly graced by members of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN).
According to findings by Thisday, cash and inputs worth N770million were distributed to 221 cocoa farmers in 10 cocoa producing states in Nigeria . The breakdown of the beneficiaries from the 10 cocoa producing states were; Ondo -365; Cross Rivers -74; Edo – 214; Ekiti – 38, Osun -193, Kwara -43; Ogun – 118; Oyo – 156; Delta – 17; and Abia – 4.
In addition, the findings reported that each farmer would get 300 sachets of Ultima Plus, 12 litres of Clear weed herbicides, nine litres of Avesthrin insecticides six litres of Folar cocoa fertilizer and cash.
Commenting on behalf of the cocoa farmers in Nigeria, the president of CFAN, Mr. Adeola Adegoke, opined that the CBN assistance would lead to increase in the yield of farmers per hectare. He revealed that under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, the sum of N197, 444 was being given out as loan per hectare with a maximum of three hectares per farmer. In addition, the loan attracts a 9% interest payable within 18 months. The loan named “Good Agricultural Practices” is expected to increase beneficiaries’ productivity from about 350kg of cocoa beans per hectare to about 600kg, he asserted.
Recall that the Anchor Borrowers Scheme for Cocoa farmers is being managed by Wema Bank Plc, in which all beneficiaries, have opened accounts for the purpose of the loan scheme.