N791 Billion Disbursed To Farmers…
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given out 791 billion Naira to more than 3 million farmers in 36 states under its Anchor Borrower Program (ABP).
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the bank’s director of development finance, Mr. Yusuf Yila, announced during interaction with reporters in Abuja on Friday. Yila said Apex banks cut the interest rate from 9% to 5% to encourage more farmers to get credit.
The ABP was launched on November 17, 2015 to provide smallholder farmers (SHF) with agricultural inputs and cash. The plan aims to establish links between large companies involved in food processing and SHF of major agricultural products through commodity associations.
He said the plan helped participating farmers increase their yields, especially corn, from an initial 2 metric tons per hectare to 5 tons per hectare, while rice production increased to 4 tons per hectare.
Yila said the bank also reduced post-harvest losses of agricultural products by encouraging dry seasonal agriculture, saying it was “better to reduce these losses”. “Agriculture works best in the dry season because you can’t control the water in the rainy season, but you can control it through irrigation in the dry season.
“The bank is also building silos and irrigation dams to reduce losses,” he said.
Yila said Apex bank also gave around 312 billion Naira to support energy infrastructure through the national large-scale metering program. He explained that the plan was launched to reduce the 6 million meter measurement gap across the country, adding that 670,000 meters were spread across the country.
“We also guarantee the added value of the program and we guarantee that the meters are not entirely imported, but assembled in Nigeria.
“With this, we created thousands of jobs and supported our economic diversification,” said the director.