Commercial Agriculture Credit Intervention Hits N360.5bn

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Nume Ekeghe

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put the total value of its intervention under its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) since inception in 2009, at N360.5 billion. 

It also revealed that at the end of July, 2019, N15.3 billion had been repaid under the scheme. 

In all, it disclosed that 76 projects repaid the sum of N15.3 billion. 

The CBN disclosed this in its monthly economic report for July 2019, posted on its website at the weekend.

It stated that of the 76 projects, one project was repaid as full repayment and one project as withdrawal of undisbursed funds, while 74 as steady repayments. 

“The repayment of N15.3 billion brings the cumulative repayment under CACS from inception in 2009 to N360.5 billion. 

“Analysis of number of projects financed under CACS by value chain indicated that of the 593 CACS sponsored projects, production accounted for 61.4 per cent and dominated the activities funded, while processing accounted for 27.8 per cent. 

“These were followed by storage, input supplies and marketing, which accounted for 4.7 per cent, 3.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively,” the report added.

On the other hand, it pointed out that the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) guaranteed a total of N417.2 million to 3,672 farmers in July 2019. The amount represented an increase of 63.6  per cent and 11.1 per cent above the levels in the preceding month and corresponding period of 2018, respectively. 

However, sub-sectoral analysis showed that food crops got the largest share, amounting to N258.2 million (61.9%) guaranteed to 2,841 million beneficiaries, followed by livestock, N58 million (13.9%) guaranteed to 288 beneficiaries. 

In all, the sum of N35.1 million (8.4%) was guaranteed to 226 beneficiaries in the cash crops sub-sector. 

Fisheries, mixed crops, and ‘others’ got N29.7 million (7.1%); N19 million (4.6%) and N17.3 million (4.1%), guaranteed to 88,160 and 89 beneficiaries, respectively. 

Analysis by state showed that 29 states and the FCT benefited from the scheme in July 2019, with the highest and lowest sums of N60 million (14.4%) and N1.5 million (0.4%) guaranteed to Taraba and Cross River states, respectively. 

According to the CBN, agricultural activities in various parts of the country received a boost, as a result of improved rainfall witnessed in July, 2019. 

It noted that mild-to-moderate rainfall was witnessed in some northern parts such as, Plateau, Kaduna, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory, while more than moderate rainfall was observed in the Southern part of the country. Consequently, predominant agricultural activities during the period were harvesting of maize and tuber crops in the Southern states, while weeding and re-planting activities were noticed in the Northern part of the country. 

In the livestock sub-sector, farmers continued with the breeding of poultry and cattle rearing. 

The sectoral utilisation of foreign exchange, according to the report, showed aggregate sectoral utilisation of foreign exchange rose by 3.6 per cent to US$2.90 billion in July 2019, in contrast with the US$2.80 billion in the preceding month.  The invisible sector accounted for the bulk (65.9 per cent) of total foreign exchange disbursed in the review month, followed by components of the visible sub-sector listed in descending order as follows: Industrial sector, 17.4 per cent; food products, 5.5 per cent; minerals and oil, 4.9 per cent; manufactured products, 4.2 per cent; transport, 1.3 per cent; and agricultural products, 0.8 per cent.

“The Bank continued to intervene in the foreign exchange market to further sustain improved liquidity and relative stability in the market. 

“Thus, a cumulative sum of US$2.63 billion was sold by the Bank to authorised dealers in July 2019, compared with $2.50 billion supplied in June 2019. 

“This indicated an increase of 5.2 per cent above the level in the preceding month, but was in contrast to the decline of 34.6 per cent recorded at the end of the corresponding period of 2018,” it added.

In the month under review, interbank sales rose by 1.9 per cent to $0.08 billion, in contrast to the decline of 34.5 per cent in the preceding month. 

Similarly, BDC sales rose by 3.8 per cent to $1.08 billion, while swaps transaction fell by 55.2 per cent to $0.13 billion below the preceding month’s level of $0.29 billion.