The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has initiated a livestock development facility to accelerate beef and milk productions in the country.
Mr Mahmood Nyako, the Head of Finance Development Office (DFO) of the CBN in Maiduguri, made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
Nyako disclosed that the bank had initiated viable programmes to encourage production, transform value chain and enhance financial inclusion for sustainable development in the sub sector.
He said that the apex bank adopted practical measures to finance the whole value chain in livestock production to encourage enterprising skills and specialisation to achieve self-sufficiency.
Nyako noted that the livestock intervention fund could be access under various programmes initiated by the bank to encourage productivity, enhance employment generation and wealth creation in the society.
The CBN official listed the programmes to include Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP); Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), and Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), among others.
He revealed that the apex bank targeted big and small holder farmers as well as youths under the livestock programme.
Nyako added that: “Under the various intervention programmes of the CBN, we have the livestock programme which focused at the whole value chain including meat, milk, hides and skin as well as leather.
“We have various intervention such as AGSMEIS; ABP which has been implemented for cereal farmers, rice, maize, sorghum and other crops. We have got approval to do livestock value chain under the ABP scheme.
“We also have the ACGSF whereby an individual can apply to do ranching, the loan is a single digit and money is disbursed to livestock farmers.”
According to him, the bank targeted over 50,000 farmers under the ABP and 500 big holder farmers under ACGSF while 17,000 youths and businesses would be supported under Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) and AGSMEIS, respectively.
Nyako explained that the bank had so far registered eight farmers’ associations, a number of private and prime anchors to provide inputs and other support services to farmers during the wet and dry season activities under ABP.
“The bank also initiated a fund to support up takers under the Paddy Aggregation Scheme (PAS) and Maize Aggregation Scheme (MAS) to set up mills.
“The fund is designed to encourage agricultural processing, value addition and create market for the agricultural produce,” he said.
According to him, the apex bank will also provide loan facilities to about 7,000 youths and businesses under the AGSMEIS scheme in the state.
Nyako urged the state and local government councils as well as organisations to sensitise their people to mobilize participation in the programmes.
He further called on the beneficiaries to ensure the utilisation of the facilities to ensure sustainability of the programme.
Also speaking, Alhaji Yakuba Goni, a cattle breeder, commended the gesture, adding that it would go a long way to encourage productivity and provide employment opportunities to the youth in the state.
Goni advocated the need for a special fund to enhance animal healthcare services to achieve sustainable development in the sector. (NAN)