Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN

CBN to empower 1.6m farmers, enhance growth in agricultural value chain

*Engages 256,000 farmers on Anchor Borrowers Programme for 2020 planting season

* Reduces interest rates on loans from 9 percent to 5 percent

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

With the aim of boosting food productions following the economic slump caused by the far-reaching impacts of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will fund about 1.6 million farmers in the 2020 wet season across the country.

Mr. Yila Yusuf, Director, Development Finance Department at CBN, stated this Tuesday, June 9 at the launch of farm inputs distribution for cotton farmers for the 2020 planting season at Kwali, Abuja, FCT, report says.

The Director, represented by Mr. Ayoola Quadri, disclosed that the bank would finance the farmers under the bank’s 10 focal commodities which would cut across the agricultural value chain.

The move was consistent with CBN’s broader blueprint of stimulating growth in the agriculture value chain to ultimately guarantee food security in the country, he stressed.

Yusuf stated that the apex bank had engaged 256,000 farmers for the 2020 planting season through its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

He emphasised that the farmers were expected to pay back the loan given by CBN under the ABP.

He further disclosed that the CBN had reduced the interest rates paid on the loan from nine per cent to five percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yusuf also noted that the CBN was working hard to revive the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) industry to create jobs and boost the economy of the country.

According to the Director, with commitment of the bank in 2018 on cotton production, the textile industries in 2019 were self-sufficient as cottons used during the period were sourced within the country and even left some in warehouses.

“CBN is trying to bring back the glory of textiles of those days where the industry used to employ 10 million people across the country.

“In the 80s, we lost that glory because of smuggling where our country was turned to a dumping ground of textiles materials.

“It is an unfortunate situation, about five billion dollars was spent annually on the importation of textiles,” he said.

He further explained that the Bank is doing backward integration to ensure that the entire value chain in the industry is funded for the benefit of consumers and the country.

Mr. Anibe Achimugu, President of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria, at the commencement of the programme, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, for their interventions in the agricultural sub-sector of the nation’s economy.

With the loan facilities provided by the CBN, Mr. Achimugu said the farmers were then witnessing the turnaround in the production output in the current planting season.

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