The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that it’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) has so far supported more than 1.5million farmers across all the 36 states of Nigeria, in cultivating 16 different commodities over 1.4 million hectares of farmland.
CBN also said that it has also supported the creation of over 2.5million jobs across the agricultural value chain.
Deputy Governor Corporate Services, CBN Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu while speaking in Owerri Imo State at the 28th edition of the Seminar for Finance Correspondents revealed that “it is our game changing intervention in the rice value chain in Kebbi and other rice-producing states across the country that increased local rice production from 2.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes in 2017 as well as cotton intervention with the flag-off of input distribution to 150,000 cotton farmers, cultivating 150,000 hectares in 23 states of the federation.
The themed of the seminar which is ‘Galvanizing Development Finance and Monetary Policy for Growth’, Adamu said is relevant, considering the evolving interconnectedness between development finance and monetary policy, not only in Nigeria, but in other economies across the world..
He noted that, “Currently the cotton planted by these farmers has begun fruiting, while some are ready for harvest and off-take. We are currently also paying additional attention to cassava because the commodity has many different uses along the value chain. The value chain has enormous potential for employing over 2 million people in Nigeria.
“Given the foregoing, it is our conviction that focusing our developmental efforts on sectors with inherent potential for growth, employment and accretion to foreign reserves, would enhance the fortune of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Speaking further, he maintained that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which was launched in November 2015 was designed to build partnerships between small holder farmers and reliable large-scale agro-processors, with a view to increasing agricultural output, while improving access to credit for farmers.
“Our targeted focus on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors was driven by the vast opportunities for growth in these sectors given our high population. These sectors have the ability to absorb the growing pool of eligible workers in our effort to meet local demand and save critical foreign reserves.
“For many countries, the objectives of monetary policy are explicitly stated in the laws establishing the Central Bank, while for others, they are not. The objectives of monetary policy may vary from country to country.
“Our Development Finance interventions have helped to bolster agricultural production by removing obstacles faced by small holder farmers.
“We have also improved access to markets for farmers by facilitating greater partnership with agro-processors and industrial firms in the sourcing of raw materials. So far, the programme has supported more than 1.5m farmers across all the 36 States of Nigeria, in cultivating 16 different commodities over 1.4 million hectares of farmland. It has also supported the creation of over 2.5m jobs across the agricultural value chain,” he maintained.