The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said it had allocated N10.45 billion to augment farmer support services and encourage agricultural activities in Borno.
Mr Mahmud Nyako, the CBN’s Development Financial Officer, told newsmen in Maiduguri that the amount was provided under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) initiated by the nation’s apex bank.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that ABP scheme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA).
It was designed to enhance farmers’ support services, access to inputs, financing and add value to the produce as well as encourage farmers’ enterprising skills.
The programme is being executed in collaboration with Federal and State Governments.
Nyako disclosed that the bank targeted about 40,000 farmers, who were expected to cultivate rice and other cash crops.
He disclosed that about 20,000 farmers had so far registered, while 5,000 of them had been screened to participate in the programme.
“The programme will be run in two phases, some 20, 000 farmers will be supported under the first phase, while 20,000 others or more would be captured under the second phase.
“It is a soft a loan revolving scheme and the bank has worked out effective modalities to ensure its sustainability,” he said.
Nyako added that farmers would be provided with assorted fertilisers, seeds, chemicals, water pumps, knapsack sprayer and money to settle labour activities such as ploughing, harrowing, packaging and transportation.