The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, said the objective of the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) was to create an economic linkage between smallholders and reputable large scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilisation of processors.
In the guidelines, posted on its website, the apex bank said also that the aim of the programme was to increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector, reduce agricultural commodity importation and conserve external reserves.
It will equally increase capacity utilisation of agricultural firms as well as create a new generation of farmers/entrepreneurs and employment.
Also, it will deepen the cashless policy and financial inclusion, reduce the level of poverty among smallholder farmers and assist rural peasant farmers in growing from subsistence to commercial production levels.
According to CBN, the targeted agricultural commodities include, cereals (rice, maize, wheat etc.), cotton, roots and tubers (cassava, potatoes, yam, ginger among others), sugarcane, tree crops (oil palm, cocoa, rubber etc.), legumes (soybean, sesame seed, cowpea etc.), tomato, livestock (fish, poultry, ruminants).
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its developmental functions established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
The programme which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on November 17, 2015, is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities. The programme thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to smallholder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilise inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food. At harvest, the SHF supplies his/her produce to the microprocessor, the Anchor who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.
“The programme evolved from the consultations with stakeholders comprising Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, State governors, millers of agricultural produce, and smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production and non-oil exports in the face of unpredictable crude oil prices and its resultant effect on the revenue profile of Nigeria,” the apex bank said.