The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is stimulating local production in the agriculture business to enhance growth and boost employment in the country.
Some of the apex bank’s agribusiness initiatives are the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, Agricultural Credit Support Scheme, the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, and the Real Sector Support Facility, according to a statement.
The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Yila Yusuf, said the bank’s funding of the Anchor Borrowers Programme for the 2020 season was the highest since the inception of the programme in 2015.
“Over 1.1 million farmers cultivating over one million farmlands were expected to benefit from the loans that will help to produce a collective output of 8.3 million metric tons,” he said.
A global culinary product manufacturing firm, GBFoods, said in a statement that it partnered with the CBN and some others recently to complete a N20bn tomato processing factory in Kebbi State.
According to the statement, the factory is the second largest in Nigeria, West Africa’s only fully backward integrated plant and has the largest single tomatoes farm in Nigeria.
It said so far, it had created 1,000 jobs, including 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs, with hundreds more to be created in the near future.
The statement noted that the plan for GBFoods to build the tomato factory was announced in 2019.
The Country Manager, GB Foods Nigeria, Mr Vincent Egbe, during the factory’s opening, said, “Over the past three years, in the three states of Kaduna, Katsina and Kebbi, GB Foods has worked with smallholder outgrowers to boost their incomes by providing seedlings, fertilisers, training, and irrigation pumps.
“To reduce post-harvest losses, GB Foods also provided free plastic crates to farmers. GB Foods is working with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the CBN to make Nigeria not only a shining example in food security but also to become the food basket of Africa.”
He said that under CACS, the CBN had so far disbursed over N610bn.