In a bid to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced the approval of N432 billion to support the cultivation of nine agricultural commodities for the 2020 wet planting season in the country.
The funding, according to the CBN, is part of its strategy to further improve on the success recorded with its previous Anchor Borrowers’Programme (APB) in boosting food production and sufficiency. Using a value chain strategy, the funding will focus on rice, cassava, maize, cotton, oil palm, cowpea, livestock, poultry, and fish.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting where he outlined the need for the use of the value chain, Yila Yusuf, the Director, Development Finance Department of the CBN explained that “CBN adopted the value chain approach across all the commodities to ensure that every player along the entire value chain, from the farmers through to the processors, was financed.
To further ensure that the country does not slide into recession due to the pandemic, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, the spokesperson of the CBN, in his remarks at the meeting disclosed that the CBN is creating a non-interest window for farmers. This will cover all CBN’s intervention schemes; especially the APB and Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) for households and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.