Central bank unveils US$2.75m loan to enhance rice and cassava production

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has unveiled US$2.75 million loan to local farmers in efforts to enhance the production of rice, maize, soybeans and cassava, according to an article on This Day.

The first phase of the program seeks to benefit a total of 1,250 local farmers in Kwara State that is, 500 maize farmers, 350 soybeans farmers, 150 rice farmers and 250 cassava farmers.

It aims to create a linkage between anchor companies that are involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHF) of the required key agricultural commodities.

“The programme thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to small holder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilise inputs supply to agro processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.

“At harvest, the SHF supplies his/her produce to the agro processor (anchor) who pays the cash equivalent to the farmers’ account,” said state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed at the official flag off of the project.

Participating farmers are required to deposit a minimum equity requirement of 5% in their accounts with designated commercial banks before disbursement, then the loan is to be repaid with the harvested produce that must be mandatorily delivered to the Anchor (state government) at designated collection centres.

“Loan granted to farmers must be repaid with the harvested produce that must be mandatorily delivered to the Anchor (state government) at designated collection centres in line with the provisions of the agreement that will be signed with you. The produce to be delivered must cover the loan principal and interest,” he added.

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