By KAYODE TOKEDE, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that a total of N606.2 million was guaranteed to 3,793 farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) in January 2017.
The CBN in its economy report for 2017 said the N606.2 million represented a decline of 25.3 per cent below the level in the preceding month, but was an increase of 24 per cent above the level in the corresponding month of 2016. According to the report, sub-sectoral analysis showed that food crops got the largest share of N369.7 million (61.0 per cent) guaranteed to 2,405 beneficiaries.
The breakdown by the report said, “Mixed crops subsector received N87.1 million (14.4 per cent) guaranteed to 733 beneficiaries; livestock had N73.8 million (12.2 per cent) guaranteed to 290 beneficiaries; fisheries, N49.9 million (8.2 per cent) guaranteed to 191 farmers; cash crops sub-sector, N21.0 million (3.5 per cent) guaranteed to 152 beneficiaries, while “others” had N4.7 million (0.8 per cent) guaranteed to 22 beneficiaries.
“Analysis by state showed that 22 states, including the FCT benefited from the Scheme in the review month with the highest sum of N69.3 million (11.4 per cent) guaranteed to Ogun state. Gombe state received the lowest guaranteed sum of N0.3 million (0.05 per cent).”
The report explained that prevalence of dry weather across the country affected agricultural activities in January 2017. “The major farming activities in the Southern States were harvesting of tree crops and clearing of land for the 2017 cropping season, while farmers in the Northern States engaged in the cultivation of irrigated lands.
“Also, agricultural activities in the North-Eastern region received a boost due to improved security and gradual return of displaced persons to their communities. In the livestock sub-sector, farmers intensified the raising of broilers and layers to replenish stocks that were depleted during the last end of year festivities,” the report added.
Restating, the report by CBN said as at January 23, 2017, the total amount released under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), since inception to participating banks for disbursement, amounted to N407.37 billion in respect of 490 projects.