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CBN Disburses N927.94b to 4.5m Smallholder Farmers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it disbursed N927.94 billion to over 4.5 million smallholder farmers, cultivating 21 commodities across the country, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The apex bank disclosed this in its Communiqué No. 140 of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on Monday and Tuesday.

According to the bank, its intervention programmes, focused on boosting productivity in manufacturing/industries, agriculture, energy/infrastructure, healthcare, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), were evaluated by the Committee.

Meanwhile, the report stated that the uptick in headline inflation (year-on-year) to 15.63% in December 2021 from 15.40% in November, following seven months of reduction, was noted with concern by the Committee.

The committee highlighted both the diet and the basic components as the reason for the unanticipated growth of inflation, while the CBN maintained that the intervention in the food market would stem the rise.

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 stated that all excess output aggregated from the financed farmers would be released to the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to help moderate the price of food in the market.

Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in November 2015, launched the ABP initiative to boost agricultural production, improve foreign exchange and reverse Nigeria’s negative balance of trade on food. Smallholder farmers cultivating cereals (rice, maize, wheat etc.) cotton, roots and tubers, sugarcane, tree crops, legumes, tomato and livestock are those captured under the initiative.

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