The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented that the majority of farmers who benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) have not repaid the loans.
This was made known by Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, a CBN Development Finance Officer in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.
In his address entitled Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) he said most of the beneficiaries see the loan as their share of national cake.
He appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back the agric loans to pay back, saying that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers had threatened the scheme, adding that it had prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.
“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme had recorded some level of success, 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 what they consider theirs as citizens.
“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” he said.
Mr Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.
ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the federal government, through CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, and reduce food import bills toward conservation of the foreign reserves.