Stating this in a speech he delivered on behalf of the Director, Development Finance Department of the CBN, during the flag-off of Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Anambra State, the bank’s Branch Controller, Awka Branch, Mr. C.M. Sokari, assured the state that the ABP would contribute in no small measure to realizing the goal of the state becoming a food basket.
He noted that several intervention programmes have been floated by the CBN in collaboration with the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economic base away from crude oil, adding that ABP was launched by the apex bank to reposition agriculture in the scheme of things in the country.
“To fund the programme, the CBN had set aside N40 billion from the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund for farmers at a single-digit rate of nine per cent.
“…Nigeria, as we may all know, is a mjor rice producer with over 20 key rice producing states in the country most of which cultivate during both wet and dry seasons. Rice is one crop in which the country has comparative advantage to easily become self-sufficient, given the huge potentials that exist.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has set the ball rolling and shown commitment to this programme and, therefore, expects that farmers and all relevant stakeholders in Anambra State would reciprocate by contributing their very best towards ensuring the successful implementation of this laudable programme,”he said.
Sokari commended Governor Willie Obiano and his team for the laudable achievements the state has made and his support for agriculture and agricultural developmental programmes, including taking a bold lead in the export of vegetable to Europe and other Western countries.