The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) has disbursed a cumulative sum of N523.6 billion between 2009 and 2017 to finance 549 projects across the country.

The breakdown of the disbursed amount includes, N273.7 billion for 301 projects from the CACS receivables account; and N280.2 billion for 248 projects from the CACS repayment account.

From the CBN annual report of 2017, the repayments amounting to N48.6 billion, were received from 17 banks in 2017, compared with N48.0 billion from 18 banks in 2016.

The report indicated that the repayments in 2017 showed a marginal increase of 1.2 per cent, over the level in 2016

The report stated further: “In addition, 1,891 new jobs, comprising 891 skilled and 1,000 unskilled jobs, were created in 2017, bringing the cumulative number of jobs created under the Scheme since inception to end-December 2017 to 1,138,244.

“The sum of N116.7 billion was released to 14 banks, in respect of 52 projects in the reviewed year. This comprised 37 private projects, valued at N46.2 billion and 15 state government-sponsored projects, valued at N70.5billion.

“Relative to the N69.9 billion released to 64 projects in 2016, this showed a 67.0 per cent increase in the value but 18.8 per cent decrease in number of loans disbursed.

“Analysis of funds released under CACS by value-chain in 2017 showed that, production, agricultural infrastructure, input supply and processing accounted for 37.4, 34.3, 15.5 and 12.8 per cent, respectively. There were no applications for funding in respect of marketing and storage”, the apex bank added.

On the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), a total of N55.5 billion had been disbursed through 10 PFIs to finance 256,305 smallholder farmers, working with 69 anchor companies.

“Additionally, 883,657 and 2,650,968 direct and indirect jobs, respectively, had been created,” the CBN’s report added.

CBN stated that, repayments stood at N11.2 billion at 2017, resulting in cumulative repayment of N11.6 billion, since inception of the Programme in 2015.

The sum of N27.5 billion was disbursed to 129,709 smallholder farmers in 2017, through 10 participating financial institutions (PFIs).

“The farmers cultivated 134,231 hectares of land, raised 3,077,650 poultry birds and produced 3,008,150 stock of fish, under the Programme. The benefitting farmers operated under 44 anchor companies in 26 states of the Federation.

“The range of commodities eligible for financing under the ABP was expanded from 4 in 2016 to 9 in 2017 due to new risk-sharing models introduced to make the Programme more attractive for prospective anchor companies and financial institutions. These commodities included: rice; wheat; maize; soya beans; groundnut; cassava; cotton; poultry products and fish.

“At end-December 2017, 24 anchor companies had expressed interest in participating in the 2017/ 2018 dry season farming under the ABP.”