The observed success story coming from the performance of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), have encouraged the bank to continue to inject additional fund for more farmers.
The CBN had through select banks, formed strategic partnerships with agricultural commodity associations in the country in its effort to expand the implementation of the ABP in the production of key agro products including rice and others.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement that “The decision to enter into strategic partnerships was to consolidate on the gains of the ABP and reach more deserving small holder farmers nationwide”.
“The ABP had so far achieved success in terms of outreach and coverage, making it one of the most successful CBN development finance interventions to date.
CBN averred that already, about N45.5bn has been released through 13 participating financial institutions in respect of over 218,000 farmers cultivating nine commodities across 30 states.
“The CBN is forming these partnerships to further ramp up domestic production of identified commodities by leveraging the existing organised structures of the agricultural associations nationwide, thereby providing huge economics of scale in the implementation of the programme.”
The apex bank also added that the strategic partnership had begun to yield results with the commencement of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme with the Bank of Agriculture, where about 300,000 rice farmers across 20 States would be supported during the upcoming dry season cultivation.
Okoroafor noted that an additional two million metric tonnes of paddy rice was expected to be produced under the RIFAN ABP.