CBN empowers 1.1m farmers

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says 1,140,854 farmers have participated in the production of 17 different agricultural products under its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this at CBN’s ‘special day’ at Abuja International Trade Fair on Thursday.

He was represented by the Deputy Director in the Corporate Communications Department of the Bank and Head of the Public Relations Division, Mrs Veronica Aqua, at the event.

Okorafor said the figure was compiled since the inception of the project in 2015 to June 2019.

He said that 255 private groups and 14 state governments had participated in the scheme as at June this year.

The director also disclosed that 1,132,260 jobs along the various agricultural value chains had been created under its Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS).

He said the bank commenced the scheme in 2009 to fast-track the development of the agricultural sector.

Okorafor said that the apex bank was aware of the role of the youth group in the overall development of the economy, hence inaugurated the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) to facilitate an improved access to finance by young people.

He said that this would help develop their entrepreneurial skills, stimulate job creation through the development of Small and Medium Enterprises among youths to harness entrepreneurial capacity as well as  increase the contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP.

According to him, CBN has collaborated with the Bankers Committee to institute the Agric-business Small and Medium Enterprises Scheme (AGSMEIS) to create employment opportunities and boost the managerial capacity of agric-businesses.

“The CBN and Bankers Committee equally set up the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to improve access to long-term, low-interest financing by entrepreneurs and investors in the industry.

“The bank did the same thing in Information Technology sub sectors to boost job creation in the country, especially among the youth.

“CBN has intervened in 29 various programmes targeted at the different stakeholder groups,” he said.