Tuesday, February 7, 2023

N791 billion disbursed to farmers: CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N791 billion to over three million farmers across the 36 states under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

• August 13, 2021
Farmers used to illustrate story
Farmers used to illustrate the story [PHOTO CREDIT: Federal Ministry of Information and Culture]

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has disbursed N791 billion to over three million farmers across the 36 states under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The director of the Development Finance Department of the bank, Yusuf Yila, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja during an interaction with journalists.

Mr Yila said the apex bank had reduced the interest rate on loans from nine per cent to five per cent to encourage more farmers to have access to the credit.

The ABP was launched on November 17, 2015, and was designed to provide farm inputs and cash to Small Holder Farmers (SHFs).

The programme was intended to link anchor companies involved in food processing and SHFs of the required key agricultural commodities through commodity associations.

He added that the programme had helped farmers improve their yields, especially maize, from initial two metric tons per hectare, to five metric tons per hectare, while that of rice to four metric tons per hectare.

Mr Yela stated that the bank was also investing in reducing post-harvest losses of farm produce by encouraging dry season farming, describing it as “better in reducing such losses.

“Agriculture works better in the dry season because you cannot control water during the rainy season, but you can control it during the dry season by using irrigation. The bank is also building silos and irrigation dams to reduce losses,’’ he said.

Mr Yila further explained that the apex bank had disbursed about N312 billion in energy infrastructure support through the National Mass Metering Programme.

He noted that the programme was initiated to bridge the six million metering gap in the country, adding that 670 thousand meters had been distributed nationwide.

“We are also ensuring value addition in the scheme by ensuring the meters are not fully imported but assembled in Nigeria,” said Mr Yila. “By that, we are creating thousands of jobs and also supporting economic diversification.’’

(NAN).

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