A total of 1.6 million farmers will receive the financial support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the wet planting season this year.
The farmers will enjoy funding from the apex bank in the production of ten key commodities currently being promoted by the bank including oil palm, cotton, rice, cocoa, maize, cassava, tomato, fish, poultry and livestock/dairy.
Yila Yusuf, CBN’s Director of Development Finance, made the revelation in Abuja on Tuesday during the inauguration of farm inputs distribution for cotton farmers for the 2020 planting season, adding that the bank was passionate about developing the commodities across their value chain.
He noted that the funding would enhance Nigeria’s food security by helping to mitigate the severe impact of the coronavirus crisis on the agriculture sector.
Mr Yusuf confirmed that the CBN had engaged 256,000 farmers in cotton production for this year’s planting season via its Anchor Borrowers scheme, further stating that farmers were required to pay back the credit taken through the programme.
He observed that the bank was striving to revitalise the cotton, textile and garments industry towards employment generation and boosting the nation’s economy.
The textile industry became self-reliant last year with the cotton used during the period sourced within the country as a result of the CBN’s commitment to cotton production, Yusuf said.
“CBN is trying to bring back the glory of textiles of those days where the industry used to employ 10 million people across the country.
“In (the) 80s, we lost that glory because of smuggling where our country was turned into a dumping ground of textile materials.
” It is an unfortunate situation, about $5bn was spent annually on the importation of textiles.”
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