By Emma Ujah
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to expand and institutionalise the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) with a view to sustaining it even after the current administration.
The National President of AFAN, Arc. Kabir Ibrahim, spoke on behalf of Nigerian farmers during a chat with the media, to highlight the activities of the Nigeria Agricultural Business Group (NABG), in Abuja.
According to him, the ABP has brought new breath into Nigeria’s agribusiness as the sector has become attractive to the elite and big investors, contrary to the perception before Mr. Emefiele’s appointment as the CBN Governor.
Ibrahim argued that if institutionalised, the programme would run beyond the present administration and that Nigerian farmers would be able to take full advantage of the opportunities created by the initiative.
ABP which includes crops such as rice, maize, tomato and cassava has grown to cover cotton and oil palm.
In his contribution, the President of the NABG, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, said the organisation was working to innovate agribusiness in the country, with a view to making the sector more rewarding to operators in the various segments, in particular and the nation’s economy, in general.
The NABG boss said, “together, we are helping to ensure food security and nutrition, creating systemic linkages between small, medium and large agribusiness enterprises and working together as stakeholders in agriculture to diversify the economy of Nigeria away from oil and gas towards agricultural industrialization”.
Emefiele, had said that CBN’s interventions in the agricultural sector saved the Nigerian economy from collapse by significantly boosting productivity in the last six years.
The CBN boss, during a recent inspection visit to the palm plantation at Odighi village in Ovia North- East Local Government Area of Edo State, noted with satisfaction that the level of interest in agriculture had grown significantly, with tremendous impact on the overall economy.