Under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claimed it released N927.94 billion to nearly 4.5 million smallholder farmers farming 21 commodities across the country (ABP).
This was revealed in the apex bank’s Communiqué No. 140 from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that took place on Monday and Tuesday.
According to the bank, the Committee reviewed its intervention programs aimed at increasing productivity in manufacturing/industries, agriculture, energy/infrastructure, healthcare, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Meanwhile, the Committee expressed concern about the increase in headline inflation (year-on-year) to 15.63 percent in December 2021 from 15.40 percent in November, following seven months of decline.
The committee blamed both the diet and the basic components for the unexpected increase in inflation, but the CBN insisted that intervening in the food market would bring it down.
The CBN said, “Between November and December 2021, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the bank disbursed N75.99 billion to support the cultivation of over 383,000 hectares of maize, rice and wheat during the 2022 dry season, bringing the cumulative disbursements under the Programme to N927.94 billion to over 4.5 million smallholder farmers cultivating 21 commodities across the country.
“The Bank also released N1.76 billion to finance two (2) large-scale agricultural projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).”
The central bank also indicated that all excess produce from supported farmers would be released to the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) in order to assist decrease market food prices.
President Muhammadu Buhari introduced the ABP project in November 2015 to raise agricultural production, improve foreign exchange, and reverse Nigeria’s negative food trade balance. The project covers smallholder farmers who grow grains (rice, maize, wheat, etc.), cotton, roots & tubers, sugarcane, tree crops, legumes, tomato, and animals.