The Central Bank of Nigeria disclosed earlier this year that N554.61 billion has so far been disbursed to over 3 million farmers since the inception of the Anchor Borrowers Scheme in 2015. This came before President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the sum of N600 billion to take advantage of this year’s rainy season and enhance food production, as Nigeria is expected to produce 60% of the country’s wheat demand.
Unity Bank CEO, Mrs Tomi Somefun, disclosed recently that her bank, which is an outlet for CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme for farmers, will support 120,000 maize farmers during this year’s maize planting season.
A bank rep told Nairametrics that, “the most important first step is to be a member of a farming union that falls under the scheme including Rice Farmers Association and Maize Association of Nigeria,” adding that a CBN partner works with the unions through creating accounts for the members and farmers which enables the bank to run its checks of eligibility.
So what does it take to join a Union, and which should a farmer apply for?
Akingbala Adetokunbo, partner at PosterVillam Ltd told Nairametrics that his company advises farmers to sign up with farmers associations involved in wheat, onions, maize, sesame seed and avocado.
“Agriculture in Nigeria has its ups and downs, and people often ask about which cooperatives they can join. Whilst there are a lot, we often advise people to sign up with farmers associations involved in wheat, onions, maize, sesame seed and avocado,” he said.
When signing up with any ABP scheme, the best farmers will do thorough registration and credit checks, onboard with their BVN, through the DFOs, PFIs and the Anchor.
One Anchor I can recommend is TheTomatoJos Company (Tomatoes and Maize) and very soon, GrainCroft,” he added.
Adetokunbo added that after application to any cooperative, farmers are registered into the National Collateral Registry.
“The cooperatives are the Anchor,” he said. The Anchor does the management of farmers and all other procedures for the CBN loans.
What you should know
The National Bureau of Statistics disclosed this week that Nigeria’s agricultural sector grew by 2.28% in real terms in Q1 2021 compared to a growth of 3.42% in Q4 2020 and 2.20% in Q1 2020.