The Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that it has disbursed a total of N756.51bn to over 3.7 million farmers under the Anchor Borrower’s loans Programme since the inception of the initiative in 2015.
The apex bank revealed this in its communiqué no. 137 of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting released on Tuesday.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.), had in 2015 launched the ABP in a bid to boost agricultural production and reverse Nigeria’s negative balance of payments on food.
Beneficiaries of this programme include farmers cultivating cereals (rice, maize, wheat etc.) cotton, roots and tubers, sugarcane, tree crops, legumes, tomato and livestock.
Loans are disbursed to the beneficiary farmers through deposit money banks, development finance institutions and microfinance banks, which the programme recognises as participating financial institutions.
The communiqué read, “Under the bank’s development finance initiatives, the bank granted N756.51bn to 3,734,938 smallholder farmers cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, of which N120.24bn was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The CBN also stated that so far, the sum of N121.57bn has been disbursed to 32,617 beneficiaries under its Agribusiness, Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, an initiative introduced in February 2017 by the MPC.
It added that as of May 2021, about 109,879 SMEs had benefited from its Targeted Credit Facility and National Youth Investment Fund schemes.
The communiqué read, “For the Targeted Credit Facility, N318.17bn was released to 679,422 beneficiaries, comprising 572,189 households and 107,233 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
“Under the National Youth Investment Fund, the bank released N3bn to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.”
Other sectors that have benefited from the bank’s facilities and initiatives include health, information and communication technology and film.
It said that under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, N3.22bn was disbursed firms classified as confidential beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals.
“Under the N1tn Real Sector Facility, the bank released N923.41bn to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro-based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“On the N100bn Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility, N98.41bn was disbursed for 103 health care projects, of which, 26 are pharmaceuticals and 77 are in the hospital services.”
Similarly, the sum of N232.54m was disbursed to five beneficiaries under the CBN Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention (Grant) Scheme for the development of testing kits and devices for Covid-19 and Lassa fever.