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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it plans to fund
the value chains of nine agricultural commodities to the tune
of N432bn in the 2020 wet planting season.
It outlined the commodities to include rice, cotton, oil palm,
tomato, cassava, poultry, fish, maize, cocoa and livestock/
diary.
Senior officials of the bank disclosed this at a stakeholders’
meeting to review the successes recorded under the CBN
Anchor Borrowers Programme and the strategies for the 2020
agricultural wet season.
This came as the bank said it would release a framework for
the integration of non-interest window in all its intervention
programmes.
It named the ABP and the Targeted Credit Facility that would
support households and micro, small and medium enterprises
affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the main programmes
being considered by the framework.
The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Yila
Yusuf, explained that the bank’s target for the 2020 planting
season was to advance about N432bn to farmers in the value
chains of nine commodities.
He said the money would be sent through the designated
participating banks, adding that over 1.1 million farmers,
cultivating over one million hectares of farmland were
expected to benefit from the loans.
Yusuf said the loans would help to produce a collective output
of 8.3 million metric tonnes of commodities.
“The bank’s funding of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme for
the 2020 season is the highest since the inception of the
programme in 2015,” he said.
The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac
Okorafor, said the creation of a non-interest window followed
appeals by concerned stakeholders for farmers to be
considered for funding under the programme.
He said work had been concluded on the funding document
and that the policy would be issued shortly to enable farmers
access and benefit from it.
On the Targeted Credit Facility of the bank, Okorafor said the
aim of the initiative was to alleviate the impact of the
coronavirus on individuals and small businesses.
He said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had directed the
Development Finance Department of the bank as well as the
NIRSAL Micro-Finance Bank to fast-track the approval process
of loans to help restore businesses and livelihoods.

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