Program Manager of the Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Chief Israel Amanze has predicted that the Central Bank of Nigeria Maize Anchor Borrowers Program (CMABP) would inject over N1b into the state’s economy this year.
According to him, this would be generated from maize farming for which the CBN loan was approved for 7,060 members of the state Maize Association of Nigeria (MAN).
Amanze, who disclosed this during the flag-off of inputs distribution for the 2020 Wet Season CMABP, at the State ADP Office, Umuahia, said there is a similar programme for rice and cassava.
While appealing to the state government to procure earth-moving equipment and land to enable farmers to perform optimally, he disclosed that the State Executive Council (SEC) had approved funds for the procurement of D5, D6 and D7 bulldozers and stump-removers, among other equipment.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji, who flagged-off the event, said the government is doing the needful to encourage farmers to boost the sector.
Representative of the CBN, Mr. Agla Celsus, who tasked the beneficiaries on proper utilisation of the loan according to the terms and conditions, said agriculture is one way the CBN is diversifying the economy.
The Southeast Coordinator of the Maize Association, Mr. Ebere Oziri, said the total number of the beneficiaries increased this year to 7,060, from the 187 of last year when it was first done.
In his address, the Maize Association’s state Chairman, Chief Onyekachi Erondu, explained that “the programme is not a grant, but a loan package by the CBN for private anchors, designed to supply farmers necessary inputs and technical support to enable them to have the best agricultural practice and farm yield, noting that they are expected to repay either through farm yield or cash, at the end of the season.”