November 14, 2011
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had disbursed a total of N137.352 billion to farmers under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) since the inception of the scheme in 2009.
It also showed that the balance of the fund stood at N63 billion, compared with the N200 billion, which was set aside initially.
The banking sector regulator disclosed this in a report titled: “Activities of the N200 billion CACS – October, 2011,” posted on its website at the weekend.
Established in 2009, the CACS was created to promote commercial agricultural enterprises in Nigeria. The fund complements other special initiatives of the apex bank in providing concessionary funding for agriculture.
According to the report, during the period under review, the sum of N2.048 billion was released to seven commercial banks with respect to seven CACS projects.
It showed that in October, no state government accessed CACS fund, saying that the total number of states participating in the scheme remained 26 for the period January – October 2011.
It explained: “These state governments accessed funds for on-lending to farmers’ unions, co-operatives and financing of other areas of agricultural interventions in their various States. From inception to date, 16 banks, namely; Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Oceanic Bank Plc, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Union Bank of Nigeria, United Bank for Africa, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling, Citibank, Mainstream Bank and Wema participated under the Scheme.
“The CBN has released the sum of N137.32 billion for disbursement to 177 beneficiaries made up of 151 individuals/private promoters and 26 state governments that accessed N1 billion each. No funds were withdrawn from banks in the month under review.”
It further showed that out of the 151 CACS private sector sponsored projects; production accounted for 45 per cent and dominated the activities funded while processing accounted for 41.72 per cent,” it added.