The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appealed to defaulting farmers to pay back the loans obtained under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to sustain the initiative.
A representative from the CBN’s Development Finance Department, Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, made the appeal at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) with the theme: “Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain” in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
Ajayi explained that the majority of farmers in Oyo State, who benefited from the scheme, are yet to repay their loans, adding that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers has threatened the scheme and prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.
He said, “While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of successes, the failure of farmers to repay the loans has, however, been a major setback.
Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to the misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back.
“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” Ajayi added.
The CBN Official, therefore, called on all stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, to appeal to defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.
Meanwhile, the ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the Federal Government, through the CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs and reduce food importation.