•Disburses N55.5bn, creates 3.4m jobs
By Babajide Komolafe
THE Central Bank of Nigeria CBN) is set to expand the scope of its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) with funding support for the N42 billion Greenfield Integrated Poultry and Powderized egg plant.
Meanwhile the CBN, through the ABP has disbursed N55.5 billion to 250,000 farmers and in the process created 3.49 million jobs comprising 890,000 direct jobs and 2.6 million indirect jobs. CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this, weekend, at the ground-breaking ceremony of the plant in Emere-Ile, Ondo State.
He noted that the Greenfield Egg plant will go a long way in plugging the supply gap in the poultry industry, and is in line with the CBN’s determination to increase local production of critical agriculture produce, reduce imports of items that can be made in Nigeria, and thus help save scarce foreign exchange.
Emefiele stated: “This Integrated Poultry Facility comprises a Pasteurized Liquid and Powder Egg Processing Facility, 200,000 Commercial Rearing Capacity, 600,000 Commercial Layers, Egg Grading and Packing Centre, a state of the art Feed Mill, and modern Broiler Processing Operation. I am glad to note that the Ondo State Government is working closely with the CBN through the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to support an outgrowers programme that will provide the feedstock for this project.
“As you may all know, the ABP is designed to support small holder farmers by providing them with the requisite training, tools and funds at single digit interest rates, which will enable improved cultivation of key agricultural items such as maize, soybeans, rice, cotton and wheat. The program also provides a ready market for farmers by linking them with credible off takers and processors of their produce.
“Since commencement of the Programme in November 2015, the CBN in partnership with state governments and several private sector groups, have disbursed a cumulative sum of N55.526 billion to over 250,000 farmers who cultivated almost 300,000 hectares of farmland for rice, wheat, maize, cotton, soybeans, cassava, etc. Two years into the implementation, the programme has contributed to the creation of an estimated 890,000 direct and 2.6 million indirect jobs.
“With the commencement of the Greenfield Integrated Poultry Facility, we expect that the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in the State will be tremendously expanded. This will surely go a long way in providing needed inputs for the facility.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, said that the Greenfield Egg plant is a demonstration of the commitment of the state government to explore the agricultural potential of the state by creating enabling environment for investors.
He expressed appreciation to the CBN for providing the funding support to make it a reality.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Greenfield Asset Limited, Dr Paul Obanua, commended the Ondo State government and the CBN for their support for the project, assuring that the first phase will be completed in 12 months.