The Central Bank of Nigeria says it has formed strategic partnerships with agricultural commodity associations in the country in its effort to expand the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement that the decision to enter into strategic partnerships was to consolidate on the gains of the ABP and reach more deserving small holder farmers nationwide.
He said the ABP had so far achieved success in terms of outreach and coverage, making it one of the most successful CBN development finance interventions to date.
According to him, about N45.5bn has been released through 13 participating financial institutions in respect of over 218,000 farmers cultivating nine commodities across 30 states.
He said, “The CBN is forming these partnerships to further ramp up domestic production of identified commodities by leveraging the existing organised structures of the agricultural associations nationwide, thereby providing huge economics of scale in the implementation of the programme.”
Okorafor said the strategic partnership had begun to yield results with the commencement of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme with the Bank of Agriculture, where about 300,000 rice farmers across 20 States would be supported during the upcoming dry season cultivation.
He said an additional two million metric tonnes of paddy rice was expected to be produced under the RIFAN ABP.
He added that the partnership with RIFAN was in tandem with the Federal Government’s agenda for Nigeria to be self-sufficient in rice production in the future.
Okorafor further said that all registered agricultural commodity associations could key into this strategic partnership by simply approaching any of the participating financial institutions collaborating with the CBN in the implementation of the programme.