By Miracle Enuji
Delta State Branch Controller of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dame Elizabeth Agu has called on true farmers in the State to come out en masse and embrace the bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme (ABP) stating that the current numbers of beneficiaries do not reflect the real strength of farmers in the State.
The Delta State CBN chief made this call on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 during a Media Parley with members of the Indigenous Newspapers and Magazines Chapel (INMC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council at the CBN’s Office, Asaba.
Dame Agu said that the programme is very dear to the CBN Governor’s heart revealing that Governor Godwin Emefiele has been ensuring that this CBN Anchor Programme is efficiently carried out in all grassroot areas of Nigeria, “his dream is that no child should go hungry anymore in Nigeria”.
She noted that the main objective of the programme which is ensuring Food security in country and creating new generation of farmers, entrepreneurs and employment to reduce the level of poverty among small scale farmers in Nigeria is being stifled by the low patronage of the scheme by real farmers.
Speaking on the achievements of the programme in Delta State, Mrs. Uwaifoh Ekpen Ihinosen, an officer representing the Head, Development Finance CBN Asaba of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, said, “At the moment, 682 fish farmers have benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ programme in the State. We will soon kick off Cassava input loans.”
She decried the army of Portfolio Farmers in Delta State who are only out for the money and not the inputs, and also the attitude of others who when given the inputs, go ahead to sell them off. She also stated that the non-availability of BVN for the prospective farmers who wish to apply for the Anchor programme, is a major factor militating against the success of the scheme.
“We have actually done alot of sensitization in Delta State. This is the second year of the programme but the problem currently militating against the success of the programme are the people’s attitude of national cake, Uwaifoh said.
The Branch Controller however promised to partner with the Indigenous Media in the state in order to get the message of the Anchor Borrowers’ programme farther to the grassroot which will ensure its success and fully realize the objectives of the agricultural scheme.
“Mostly in the noise of information dissemination, we forget those at the grassroot and for the success of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, we need community media to disseminate information to the people that really needs it. I am really delighted that the Indigenous media is here with us because you people are the community town criers. We will really appreciate that you become our ambassador at the grassroot level.”
The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is an agricultural loan scheme created by the Central Bank of Nigeria for Farmers which is limited to only Input and excludes the provisions of physical cash to them.
This is to eliminate any form of financial fraud and get only the core farmers partake in the programme.
It will be recalled that the programme which was launched by president Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.