The Senate, yesterday, requested for the extension of the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to all the 36 states and the FCT for the acceleration of the Federal Government’s bid to diversify the economy.
The request followed the adoption of a motion sponsored titled: “Anchor Borrowers Programme and its Benefits to Farmers” moved by Senator Shaaba Lafiagi (APC, Kwara).
Lafiagi said the Anchor Borrowers Programme conceived to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in processing of key agricultural commodities and smallholder farmers had succeeded in turning around the fortunes of farmers where the programme was ongoing
“The thrust of the programme is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to smallholder farmers to boost production of these selected commodities, stabilise inputs to agro-processors and create a new generation of farmers/entrepreneurs, thereby ensuring employment.
“Note that loans granted to the smallholder farmers under this programme are to be repaid with harvested produce delivered to the anchor and must cover the loan principal and interest which must not be above nine per cent per annum,” he said.
He expressed concern that the CBN and the Presidential Committee on Rice Production launched the programme in some states like Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Imo and Cross River which had led to massive production and exportation of rice in 2017.