The Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), recently shared that its members have accessed N13 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP) for this year’s wet season farming.
Edwin Uche, national president of the MAGPAMAN, disclosed this at the association’s national stakeholders meeting in Abuja, noting that about 70,000 of its members have benefited from funds and other farm inputs.
The Anchor Borrowers’ Program evolved to boost agricultural production and non-oil exports in the face of unpredictable crude oil prices and their resultant effect on the country’s revenue profile.
The broad objective of the program was to create an economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving the capacity utilization of processors.
The loans target smallholder farmers in groups or /cooperative(s) of between 5 and 20 members for ease of administration across the country.
Commenting on the recent ban on maize importation, Uche praised President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN for sustaining the agricultural policy.
“It has been one move long overdue, we have been pushing for the ban of maize because as an association, I can always say this categorically, when the right environment is created, right support is given, farmers in Nigeria can grow sufficient maize to support industrial use, local consumption and also for export, so for us, it is a welcome development.
“For us, agriculture is a business, and for you to do it well, you must plan, and for you to plan, you must have your team on the table. So for us, it is a very wonderful opportunity to have our team on the table to deliberate on how best to approach agriculture this season.”