Nigeria farmers

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

This is as it disclosed that N554.61 billion has so far been disbursed to the beneficiaries through the programme since its inception in 2015.

This disclosure was made by the CBN Director for Development Finance, Mr Yila Yusuf, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, March 5, in Abuja.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the initiative to start the programme, Yusuf said the programme had done a lot to help 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. The multiplier effect on the economy is huge,” Yusuf said.

“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,” he said.

He said the CBN was making efforts to keep prices stable and to ensure food security adding that the programme had contributed to food sufficiency during the global lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.

According to him, “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 CBN Director also said that as a way of encouraging more farmers into ABP, the apex bank no longer took cash from them as repayment for their loans.

He said, “We rate every single commodity they produce and guarantee the prices. This will encourage more farmers to enrol in the programme.