The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it has budgeted the sum of N432 billion to support about 1.1 million farmers in the 2020 wet season farming under its Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP). This disclosure was made by the Apex Bank’s Director, Development Finance Department, Yila Yusuf, at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Abuja to review the successes recorded so far under the Anchor Borrowers Program and the strategies for the 2020 agricultural wet season.
According to Yusuf, who represented the apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the forum: “We are advancing N432 billon, through the banks, to the famers in the 2020 wet season across nine different commodities.” The commodities are rice, cassava,maize, cotton, oil palm, cowpea, livestock,poultry and fish.
The apex bank also hinted of plans to integrate non-interest loan window in all its intervention programs, particularly the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of the project, according to Yusuf, will be massive and unprecedented. He also pointed out that the 2020 wet season support represented the largest Anchor Borrowers Program the bank will be embarking on since the advent of the program in 2015.
CBN targets more than 1.1 million farmers who will be cultivating more than one million hectares of arable lands with a collective output of 8.3 million metric tons of produce from nine different commodities. The intervention should create about five million jobs down the agro-commodities value chains.
Isaac Okorafor, the bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department stated the bank in the 2020 agricultural wet season, was committed to aggressively fund its agricultural programs and spur farmers along select crop value chains to prevent food insecurity in the country.