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CBN: 3.8m farmers have benefitted from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme

CBN: 3.8m farmers have benefitted from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme
March 05
15:12 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says 3.8 million farmers have, so far, benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

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Yila Yusuf, director of CBN development finance department of the apex bank, told NAN on Friday that N554.61 billion had been disbursed through the programme since its inception in 2015.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the initiative to start the programme as it has helped farmers improve their yields and generate employment.

“We have to commend President Buhari for putting the ABP in place. Over 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the programme,” Yusuf said.

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“The multiplier effect on the economy is huge.

“The ABP has helped farmers improve their yields. For maize, we now do five metric tonnes per hectare and for rice, we’re improving from four metric tonnes to 10 metric tonnes per hectare.

“We will be trying out some Brazilian seeds that we will give to the anchors and their association.”

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He said the CBN has been making efforts to keep prices stable and to ensure food security.

“Apart from jobs that have been created, there is also productivity, which is important to CBN. We also look at how we can keep prices stable because food security is very important.

“A lot of countries went into protectionist mood due to COVID-19, if we did not have this programme we would be in serious trouble.

The director said the CBN was taking steps to make staple foods like rice affordable to the masses.

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“We are guaranteeing a minimum support price for the farmers. We allocate rice to the mills and we follow up; the price is already reacting,” Yusuf explained.

“You can get it for around N19,000 now, and you can be sure that the rice is fresh and it is healthy,” he said.

Yusuf said the programme will expand into a Strategic Maize Programme to stabilise the price of maize.

“We realised that the prices of maize are continuously increasing. What we have done is to guarantee all the output from the anchor and put it into the strategic programme and release to the millers,” he said.

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“This is to warn those hoarding the produce that the prices will crash and they will lose.”

He said the CBN no longer takes cash from farmers as repayment for their loans explaining that: “We rate every single commodity they produce and guarantee the prices. This will encourage more farmers to enrol in the programme”.

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