FG Disburses N150b To Farmers Via CBN Borrowers’ Scheme
The Federal Government has reportedly disbursed N150 billion to local farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in two years.
The Executive Director, Bank of Agriculture, Mr. Niyi Akenzua gave the hint on Wednesday in Lagos.
The event was organised by Crenov 8 to sensitise farmers and the public on the planned meet-the-farmers conference slated for October in Lagos.
Akenzua said the N150 billion was part of the N250 billion intervention fund given to the Bank of Agriculture by the federal government in 2016 to boost food production in the country.
He stated that the programme was designed to assist farmers of key agricultural commodities and that plans are underway to disburse more funds before the end of the year.
Speaking, Akenzua said:
“When this government took over, the price of crude was very low. That forced the administration to look to agriculture to revive the economy.
“That was how the Bank of Agriculture was revived. In 2016, government gave the bank N250 billion intervention fund.
“In 2017, we disbursed N100 billion for anchor borrowers to boost rice production. This year, we have already disbursed N50 billion.
“We are working in collaboration with CBN and our target is that by end of next year, Nigeria will stop importation of rice.
“With the progress we have made in local rice production so far, we have saved government almost $800 million in foreign exchange.”
Akenzua said the Bank of Agriculture is ready to disburse loans to farmers to boost rice production and other farm produce.
Akenzua commended Crenov8 Consulting, a leading consulting and digital technology firm, which is connecting African farmers to Middle East where farm produce from Africa is in high demand.
The consulting firm said at the pre-conference media launch that it would hold agro export gathering tagged ‘Meet-the-Farmers Conference (MTFC)’ on October 10, 2018 in Lagos.
Meet The Farmers’ conference is an agro stakeholders’ conference that aims to connect large scale agro-commodity producers to buyers from the Middle East.
Key Stakeholders from Africa and GCC (Middle East) will come together during the one-day event to network, collaborate, and form potential business partnerships across borders to ensure food security in the Middle East and promote agribusiness in Africa.
Recently, according to ThisDay, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said that the ministry would ensure that farmers repay loans granted them through the apex bank’s Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).
He, however, warned that there would be no excuses for default.