From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government has guaranteed 1,232,326 loans worth N130.903 billion under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGSF) since its inception in 1977 until May this year.
Of the 1,232,326 beneficiaries, 973,646 of them have repaid N98.91 billion, while the loan recovery rate is around 85%.
The Chairman of the ACGSF Board, Mr. Stephen Okon, made the revelation on Thursday in Abuja, during the second ACGSF National Farmers Awards.
IF Green Industries & Investment Limited won the National Top Farmer Award. Located in Lagos, IFGreen processes cassava into industrial raw materials such as food, quality starch, etc. The company secured N8.050 million from Access Bank PLC and was able to repay it on time. He won a cash prize of 1 million naira and a plaque. The second dolphin is Almustapha Maigwandu farms limited. Located in Kebbi, he got 1.6 million naira from Lapo Microfinance bank and was able to repay it within the given time. He received a cash prize of N750,000 and a plaque, while Bauchi-based Wuntin Dada Agro Farms Limited, a second runner-up received N500,000 and a plaque to complete to access N15 million from Sterling Bank and reimbursed within the stipulated time. .
Dwelling on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Chairman of the Board of ACGSF disclosed that 82 loans have been guaranteed under the scheme, valued at N22.580 million, bringing the total loans secured in the FCT since the inception of the program in 1977 to May 2022 at 14,258, valued at N1.748 billion.
“In terms of loan recovery, 11,726 loans worth N801.058 million have been repaid under the CTF program since the program started. These files show the level of commitment of FCT agents as well as the determination of farmers to use the opportunities offered by the Scheme to take responsibility and improve their lots. “We hope that before long, FCT agricultural value chain participants will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the amended law,” Okon explained.
He recalled that in 2021, 31,591 farmers had obtained loans worth N5.79 billion under the scheme. That year, 106 farmers whose due diligence and hard work earned them the enviable title of “Farmers of the Year” were selected.
“Among them were 20 women who, despite their gender, also stood out. Their success story is a testament to the enduring power of courage and candor. In light of the outstanding performance of these farmers, they were nominated by the various banks and ultimately selected and approved by the state selection committee as the 2021 ACGSF Best Farmers of the Year,” a- he added.
Also speaking, the Comptroller of CBN’s subsidiary, Abuja, Mr. Ogbu Onyeka Michael, pointed out that the best farmer award ceremony was more than just a ritual of recognition for the best farmers, but an expression CBN management‘s commitment to supporting hard work, innovation, and productivity in the agricultural value chain.
“To this end, the CBN challenges Nigerian farmers to explore our various agricultural interventions aimed at increasing the value addition of their production towards achieving food self-sufficiency, supply of raw materials to our manufacturing industries and also for export, which ultimately helps diversify and improve the foreign exchange earning base of our economy,” he said.
The ACGSF was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977 to guarantee agricultural credit facilities granted to farmers. The Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) both contribute 60% and 40% to the Fund respectively. The CBN, however, also acts as the managing agent of the scheme and the secretariat of the ACGSF. The program encourages deposit banks and microfinance banks to lend to people engaged in agriculture by providing collateral. It mitigates the risks associated with bank lending to agriculture by guaranteeing payment to banks of 75% of the net amount in default in accordance with the provisions of the enabling law. Since its inauguration in 2018, the Board has held several regular meetings as well as special meetings during which it considered several memoranda and made far-reaching decisions, all of which had a positive impact on the operations of the Plan.