Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that the apex bank, under its Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) has over N250 billion which has not been fully disbursed as well as a N220 billion micro, small and medium enterprise development fund, with just N80billion utilised so far.
According to him, the central bank is interested in how small holder farmers can benefit from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), through the micro, small and medium enterprise.
Emefiele , a member of the Presidential Task Force on Agriculture, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at the Odeda Farm Institute, Odeda during the Task Force’s inspection of the facilities of the Institute and some farm centres in the state.
The Presidential Task Force, which also included the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and the Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, were earlier conducted by the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, round Eriwe Fish Farm in Ijebu-Ode, Greenhouse Technology Centre, Kotopo in Abeokuta and Owowo Farm Settlement in Ewekoro local government area.
Emefiele added: “When we find a state that is serious and ready to work with us, we burst the commercial agricultural credit scheme facility that we have because the President has mandated that those who are serious, we must support. That is the essence of this.”
He added that the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) will be properly restructured by the Federal government towards assisting farmers to boost agricultural production in the country and ensure food sufficiency.
Emefiele said that if the restructuring was eventually done, it would help the bank to perform its primary responsibilities well.
The CBN governor explained that the team was mandated by the president to go round the entire federation on a fact-finding mission on how to resuscitate some of the age-long agricultural potentials of the country.
He added that the President specifically tasked the team to locate how to ensure increase in the production of cassava, maize and resuscitate cocoa production in the southwest emphasising maize production will support the poultry productivity in the South Western part of the country.
He said, “For us to go round the entire federation, not just about rice, tomatoes, millet but also about even coming down South. What can we do to resuscitate some of our age-long agricultural potential.”