The Central Bank of Nigeria through its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, ACGSF, has awarded the three best farmers who borrowed under the scheme and kept good records while repaying their loans as when due.
Vanguard also learned that the farmers also adopted other best agronomic practices that enabled them to achieve high yields which translated to efficient loan payments before the due date.
Speaking at the ceremony held in Calabar, weekend, Branch Controller, Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mrs Glory Iniunam said the situation in the world caused by the Pandemic leading to reduction of GDP amongst other challenges.
She said:” The ravaging impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the world has brought a great decline in GDP of many nations. This has led many countries of the world to think inward and adopt strategies for sustainable food security programmes to carter for their citizens.
“Nigeria is not left out of this impact which not only can be seen but felt in various households& sectors of the economy.
“In view of the above, the Central Bank of Nigeria in its drive to cushion the impacts of the global scourge and ensure food security in the Country has deployed incentive packages in form of credit facilities for Agricultural productions and its value chains.
“Furtherance to the above, the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) of the Central Bank of Nigeria has taken Agriculture and its numerous value chains to a whole new height.
“The best farmer of the year award was introduced in the 1980s to recognize selected farmers that borrowed under the scheme, kept good records and repaid their loans as when due.
“The farmers also adopted other best agronomic practices that enabled them to achieve high yields which translated to efficient loan payments before the due date. In addition to the above, an interest drawback programme was introduced by the CBN to encourage loan repayment,” she said
Speaking further, the Controller, CBN Calabar disclosed that the scheme was to encourage farmers to participate effectively.
“This was to encourage farmers to effectively participate in the ACGS thus increasing Agricultural production and reducing the high inflation rate in the economy. The ACGS best farmers Award was re-introduced in 2020 to select and reward the best farmers under the scheme in the Country.
“The awardees would serve as models to other loan beneficiaries which will motivate other farmers to repay their loans on time thereby making them become potential award winners.
“Equally, the cash award to the winner will also serve as an incentive for best agronomic practices. Once again, we call on all the stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector of the State to participate in the CBN intervention
“It is part of our efforts to add value to the GDP, increase food production and create more jobs and employment opportunities in the country,” she said.
On his part, the Development Finance Officer, Dr Aniefiok Umoren reiterated that Scheme was to encourage farmers to relay their loan, add value to the economy, create employment which will in no small way reduce inflation and boost our GDP.
Umoren said:” It is an attempt to reduce inflation and boost our GDP through agricultural development which will create jobs and reduce poverty through added value to the economy.
“We makes sure that they do not default by monitoring their projects, we have a cordial relationship with them and also appraise their projects,” he said.