The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed it has disbursed over N200 billion to smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) for the 2020 wet season.
Yila Yusuf, director of the apex bank’s development finance department told major stakeholders in the programme that the amount has so far been the highest disbursement made available in a single year since the inception of the programme in 2016.
He explained that during the 2020 wet season, emphasis has been made on the use of new improved seeds which will generate bumper harvest for the farmers and also enable the smallholder famers to refund their loans with ease.
The apex bank has so far disbursed about N374 billion to smallholder farmers under the ABP from 2016 to date, Yusuf said, adding that the funds were distributed across the cassava, maize, cotton and rice value chain resulting in more active and effective participation of prime anchors in the programme.
He urged stakeholders to continually document the successive stages of the programme, as doing so would ensure a better value chain.
Yusuf assured stakeholders that the proposed 2020 dry season farming will see the programme focus on the use of contagious lands for mechanisation by increasing land under cultivation with state government contributing between 20,000 to 100,000 hectares, use of improved seed and establishment of the off-take agreement.
He further stressed that the CBN will capitalise on its
learning experiences thus far to achieve early successes, to move the bank forward particularly in its effort to achieve employment creation, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.