The Central Bank of Nigeria has affirmed its support for local production in the agriculture sector. This is to enhance growth and boost employment in the country.
Some of the apex bank’s agribusiness initiatives are the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund, and the Agricultural Credit Support Scheme. Others include the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, and the Real Sector Support Facility.
The Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Yila Yusuf, has issued a statement to that effect. Yusuf said the bank’s funding of the Anchor Borrowers Programme for the 2020 season was the highest since the inception of the programme in 2015.
Furthermore, he said that over 1.1 million farmers cultivating over one million farmlands were expected to benefit from the loans. These loans are expected to help to produce a collective output of 8.3 million metric tons.
In addition, GB Foods, a global culinary product manufacturing firm, said that it partnered with the CBN and some others recently to complete a N20bn tomato processing factory in Kebbi State.
According to them, the factory is the second largest in Nigeria. Moreso, West Africa’s only fully backward integrated plant and has the largest single tomatoes farm in Nigeria.
However, it had created 1,000 jobs, including 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs. It also has plans to create hundreds more jobs in the near future.
The statement noted that the plan for GBFoods to build the tomato factory was announced in 2019. Mr Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, GB Foods Nigeria, Mr Vincent Egbe, made this statement during the factory’s opening. He talked about the company’s support for farmers.
Likewise, Egbe said that over the past three years, in the three states of Kaduna, Katsina and Kebbi, GB Foods has worked with smallholder outgrowers to boost their incomes by providing seedlings, fertilisers, training, and irrigation pumps.
In addition, to reduce post-harvest losses, GB Foods also provided free plastic crates to farmers. It is working with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the CBN to make Nigeria not only a shining example in food security. But also, to become the food basket of Africa.