The bank, which partners the CBN on the programme to revamp agriculture in Nigeria, said the programme had a 90 percent success rate for the last farming season.
“The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which was initiated by the CBN as a sub-shoot of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) was created to support farmers and increase their production capacity,” the bank said via a statement.
“About N19billion was disbursed in the last farming season with reported 90% success rate. The programme was initially designed for Rice Farmers only but the scope has since been expanded to other farming sectors.”
Managing director of Keystone Bank, Philip Ikeazor, said “financial institutions have a crucial role to play in providing support to players along the agriculture value chain and the CBN’s initiative of the Anchor borrowers programme is a step in the right direction”.
“Financing in agriculture is one factor of production which facilitates the acquisition, procurement and management of the other factors of production like, land, expertise and management,” he adds.
Ikeazor also noted that the agricultural sector is facing financial challenges especially in rural communities.
“We however have to take into consideration the issue of uneven distribution of credit which is present at sub-sectorial levels of allocation.”
According to TheCable, Ikezor further stated that if some of these challenges are to be overcome, programmes of both the private and public credit institutions need to shift focus to the rural areas.
Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam