Anchor borrowers’ programme as bragging right…..

@Did you Know.ng

AMID intense electioneering, ahead of the just-concluded general elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC-controlled Federal Government legitimately marketed its achievements to persuade a mandate renewal. The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP, conceptualised and driven by the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, was one such flagship achievement.

Launched in Birnin Kebbi on November 17, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the programme was aimed at stimulating scaled-up production in the agricultural sector through provision of farm input both in cash and kind to small-holder farmers, to improve farm yields. Additionally, the programme was designed to stabilise supply of input to agro-processors to specifically address the nation’s balance of payments on food import and export.

The small-holder farmers supply their products to the agro-processors (anchors) that pay the cash equivalent into the farmers’ accounts. According to Emefiele, more than 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had enlisted for the programme, resulting in the disbursement of more than N55 billion to about 250,000 farmers. Specifically, the implementation of the programme had, from inception, been under strict coordination of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production, acting in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to Emefiele, ABP had closed the gaps between local rice production and domestic consumption and has been complementing the Growth Enhancement Support, GES, Scheme of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development by facilitating the transformation of farmers under the scheme from subsistence to commercial farming.

Remarkably, the transformation can be measured in terms of numbers of beneficiaries and the ancillary jobs that have been created along the value chains. Late last year, Emefiele said at the annual bankers’ dinner that about 2.5 million jobs had been created countrywide through the programme. Read him: “As at October 2018, a total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares, across 16 different commodities, have so far benefited from the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which has generated over 2.5 million jobs across the country.

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