By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Ogun State government on Thursday said that funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria’ Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) are credited directly into the beneficiaries’ account, without passing through any form of intermediary.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Dotun Sorunke, stated this in Abeokuta while clarifying issues surrounding the scheme in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
He said direct disbursement is usually adopted because the beneficiaries are into agreement bond with the apex bank and respective farmers organisations and direct beneficiaries must abide by the terms and conditions of the credit linkage.
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“The Anchor Borrower’s Programme is a federal government scheme run by the CBN. The administration of the programme in the State is vested on a 17 member Advisory Committee, made up of professionals and Heads of Farmers organisations as the day to day implementation of the programme is handled by the CBN approved Project Management Team (PMT).
“The PMT comprised of Head of Finance Development, CBN, who serves as the team lead, and other statutory members from relevant institutions and organisations whose decisions on linkage to credit, inputs and loan disbursement from the CBN’s approved bank are authenticated by the Central Bank, Head of Farmers organisations and other relevant stakeholders in line with CBN guidelines”.
“Under the programme, loans are given to farmers through Participatory Finance Institutions (FPI), on a single-digit interest rate, after the first harvest, depending on the commodity”, he explained.
Dr Sorunke said farmers who have enrolled in the CBN programme, as it operates in the state are in charge of their choice of service providers from inputs, through a mandatory town hall meeting where participatory farmer agreed and signed off “who provides their inputs and at what cost, location and quality level.”
The Permanent Secretary noted that the Agriculture Ministry and farmers groups maintain a technologically driven verified list of the processed and pending application for the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, as it was “practically impossible to misappropriate or divert funds, as there was a validation exercise for each participating farmer, who is linked to the National Identify Scheme.
He listed the commodities under the scheme in the state to include; cassava, maize, rice. Fishery, poultry, cattle, piggery, cotton and oil palm.
He further explained that funds are meant to cater for the Economic of Production (EOP) agreed by the farmers themselves as running cost of their respective farmers project which they would repay after selling their products to off-takers.
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