“FG Anchor Borrowers Programme” An expert in Nigeria’s agricultural sector has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently review the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor-Borrower Programme (ABP), as findings has shown that the implementation of the scheme so far, is falling short of national quest of making the sector driving force of the nation economy.
The call was made on the side -lines of President Buhari`s working visit to Jigawa state by Sabitu Muhammad Yahaya, managing director, Jifatu Food Processing Company Nigeria Limited.
“My submission on the Anchor Borrower Programme of the Federal Government is based on my experience as a participant. I am one the participants, who responded to the call made by President Buhari to businessmen in the north to assist his regime in making a success of his agriculture programme,” Yahaya said.
As a way of addressing this development, the expert suggested that the implementation of the scheme be reviewed with the aim of bringing into the driving seat of the programme, persons with passion for agriculture.
Speaking to BusinessDay after the President inspected his company exhibition stand at a mini-trade fair organized as part of the visit; Yahaya said the review of the scheme would go a long way in ensuring the success of the programme.
Yahaya who is also the chief executive officer, Jifatu General Enterprises Nigeria Limited, owner of Jifatu stores, urge the government to re-constitute membership of the ABP implementation committee, and remove members that are not interested in the development of the sector.
He also urged President Buhari to ensure the removal of commercial banks in the implementation committee of the scheme, on the ground that their involvement is one of the factors hampering the seamless implementation of the scheme.
“Because of my love for the country, and the president, I floated Jifatu Food Processing Company. My vision is to ensure that the company is operational in the 19 Northern States. So far, we have commenced operation in Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano, and here in Dutse, Jigawa state.
“The company is conceived to be an off-taker for the over 6000 farmers that are participating in our out-growers programme. We resolved to conceive the out-grower programme when we discovered that most of the farmers we supported were finding it difficult to get an off-taker for their produces” he explained.
Commenting on the nature of the company `s out-grower programme, he revealed that the programme entails provision of soft loan to cover Land preparation, purchase of farm inputs, purchase irrigation facilities, harvesting, as well as serving as off-taker for the crop cultivated.
He disclosed that his company has invested close to N1 billion in the out-grower programme, pointing out that farmers participating in the scheme had grown from 1000 to 6000, since the company came on seam two year ago.