The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the agricultural sector, it is in line with its developmental function of the apex bank.
The loan shall be targeted at smallholder farmers engaged in the production of identified commodities across the country. The Farmers should be in groups/cooperative(s) of between 5 and 20 for ease of administration.
The ABP is not solely for farmers, businesses can also apply to become the Anchor (private large-scale integrated processors) and Inputs Suppliers
TARGETTED AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES
Identified Agricultural Commodities The targeted commodities of comparative advantage to the State shall include but not limited to:
Cereals (Rice, Maize, wheat etc.)
Roots and Tubers (Cassava, Potatoes, Yam, Ginger etc.)
Tree crops (Oil palm, Cocoa, Rubber etc.)
Legumes (Soybean, Sesame seed, Cowpea etc.)
Livestock (Fish, Poultry, Ruminants etc.) Any other commodity that will be introduced by the CBN from time to time.
HOW IT WORKS
The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) will create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities. The programme thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to smallholder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilize inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food. At harvest, the SHF supplies his/her produce to the Agro-processor (Anchor) who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.
The Anchor Borrowers Programme is to create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilization of processors. Other objectives include:
Increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector
Reduce agricultural commodity importation and conserve external reserves
Increase capacity utilization of agricultural firms
Create a new generation of farmers/entrepreneurs and employment
Deepen the cashless policy and financial inclusion
Reduce the level of poverty among smallholder farmers
Assist rural smallholder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
ELIGIBLE PARTICIPATING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (PFIS)
The loan shall be disbursed through any of these PFIs:
• Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)
• Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)
• Microfinance Banks (MFBs)
Interest rate under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) shall be guided by the rate on the N220 billion MSMEDF, which is currently at 9% p.a (all inclusive, pre and post disbursement). The PFIs shall access at 2% from the CBN and lend at a maximum of 9% p.a.
The tenor of loans under the ABP shall be the gestation period of the identified commodities.
Loans granted to the SHFs shall be repaid with the harvested produce that shall be mandatorily delivered to the Anchor at designated collection center in line with the provisions of the Agreement signed. The produce to be delivered must cover the loan principal and interest.
The CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme is implemented through participating financial institutions (PFIs) and anchor companies. The PFIs are responsible for disbursing loans to smallholder farmers, while the anchor companies provide off-take arrangements for the farmers’ produce. The programme covers various agricultural commodities, including rice, maize, wheat, cotton, cassava, oil palm, poultry, and fish.
The PFIs are required to identify and register smallholder farmers interested in participating in the programme. The registered farmers are then provided with training on modern farming techniques and the proper use of inputs. The PFIs also provide loans to the farmers for land preparation, input purchase, and other farming activities. The loans are repayable at harvest, and the anchor companies are responsible for buying the produce from the farmers at a guaranteed market price.