Some 272 farmers under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) as at March 2012 have received financial assistance to the tune of 175 billion naira from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of efforts to boost food security (US$1=155 Naira).
The private Guardian newspaper Wednesday quoted the recent monthly report from the apex bank as saying agricultural production accounted for 47% of the 195 projects financed under CACS.
According to the report, “with regards to the value of funds released, processing accounted for 52 per cent followed by production, which accounted for 45.6 per cent of the value of enterprises financed”.
Eighteen banks participated in servicing the scheme, but one of them – Stanbic IBTC Bank – was sanctioned with a penalty of 47.708 million naira for contravening the CACS guidelines.
Three states are among those that accessed the fund. Abia state in South-east leads with one billion naira, while Rivers state in the Niger Delta region and the Northern state of Bauchi received 3 billion naira and 1 billion naira respectively from the CACS fund during the period.
“The number of state governments participating in the scheme therefore stands at 29. These state governments accessed funds for on-lending to farmers’ unions, co-operatives and financing of other areas of agricultural interventions in their various states,” the report said.
CACS was designed to promote commercial agricultural enterprises through provision of long-term loans with concessionary interest rates.
It was also aimed at enhancing food security by increasing food supply at moderate prices