A total of 720,000 small-holder farmers have received credit facility totalling N120.6bn through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
The Vice President also hinted about the government’s plans to extend more agricultural credit to farmers in the South to encourage more people to engage in mechanised farming.
He spoke in Lagos at the fourth national discourse, an event organised by The Companion, an association of Muslim Men in Business and the Professions. The theme of the event was given as ‘Food Security: Unleashing Nigeria’s Natural Potential for Self-Sufficiency’.
Osinbajo said beneficiaries of the N120.6bn agric credit were smallholder farmers in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The farmers, he added, were those cultivating 12 commodities such as rice, wheat, cotton, soya beans, cassava, poultry and groundnuts.
He said that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme launched by the President in Kebbi State in November 2015 had 13 participating banks.
As part of the administration’s programmes for the Next Level, Oswinbajo said more agricultural credit would be extended to farmers in the South.
He said, “For some strange reasons, farmers in the South are not as keen in agriculture as those in the North.”
Osinbajo said the government was constructing more dams to strengthen irrigation practice; seven dams had been delivered and 13 more to be completed by 2020.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs, Adebunmi Adekanye, said the state government had entered into partnership with other state governments in the South-West for the production of rice to meet the national demand.
The President of The Companion, Alhaji Wale Sonaike, said the forum was initiated to generate ideas on issues of national concern.