The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made available N1.2 billion loans for fish farmers in Delta State.
Mr. Ambrose Nwabuzor, loan officer, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Asaba, recently said BOA secured the release of N1.2 billion.
He said beneficiaries provided enough securities to guarantee the drawdown of the loan from CBN.
“Under the private window, we have secured the release of N1.2 billion to eight anchors that came together to form a fish farm.
“Each of the anchors gave us an irrevocable post-dated cheque (security) and they profiled their farmers,” Nwabuzor said.
He said BOA would secure release of another tranche of loan for the anchor off-taker in fisheries.
The loan officer said the off-taker had also provided security for the loans and profiled his farmers under the scheme.
According to him, the programme is compact in nature and should bring stakeholders together.
“An anchor off-taker is the most important person in this chain, for without him the programme cannot succeed.
“He must have the financial strength to pay input suppliers, profile and pay his farmers, mop the farm produce, store, process, preserve and market them at convenience.
“Here in Delta ABP has the private and state windows,” he said.
Nwabuzor said the government keyed into the state window to produce oil palm, rice cassava and fish.
He said because the oil palm had long maturity period, it was not part of the programme.
“So, we have only three items in the programme, but unfortunately the state has not secured an anchor off-taker for cassava and rice.
“No money has been released to BOA for payment of input suppliers and farmers in the state,” Nwabuzor said.
He advised the government to assume the position of an anchor off-taker by providing BOA with an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).
The loan officer said the document would ensure that the loans were recovered from the farmers.