The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and governors of 36 Nigerian states recently agreed to pool resources to develop their agricultural potential and generate employment. At a meeting in Abuja, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele said the collaboration with the governors is a continuation of the apex bank’s efforts to enhance the country’s agricultural development.
Emefiele said CBN is focused on boosting the production of identified agricultural commodities in the states, particularly those with high growth enhancement impact, create jobs, improve the capacity of industries and conserve foreign exchange for the country, according to a report in a Nigerian newspaper.
The bank has identified ten key commodities in the states as key enterprises to be developed along the value chain to achieve the stated objectives. These are rice, cotton, oil palm, tomato, cassava, poultry, fish, maize, cocoa and livestock, and dairy products.
This is in addition to what CBN is doing through the Anchor Borrowers Programme to support smallholder farms in rural communities, he said.
In the cotton, textile and garment sector, through the Anchor Borrowers Programme, CBN commenced the cultivation of 200,000 hectares of hybrid cotton, which was distributed to 200,000 farmers in 26 states, he said.
The bank imported about 6,000 metric tonnes of improved cotton seeds, in addition to about 2,000 metric tonnes sourced locally.
He said the total expected cotton yield at the end of the current season is about 302,440 metric tonnes. CBN has just approved funds to be disbursed through the Bank of the industry for the operation of the ginneries, he added.