Expend CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme – Expert

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Akinyinka Akintunde

A business analyst, Akinyinka Akintunde, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to involve more farmers in its Anchor Borrowers Programme toward boosting food production in the country.
Akintunde, who is the Business Development Manager, AFEX Commodities Exchange Ltd, made the call in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Lagos.
He said this while reacting to the May Inflation report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which grew to 11.40 per cent from the 11.37 per cent recorded in April.
The growth was due largely to corresponding increase in the composite food index, which rose by 13.79 per cent in May, compared to 13.70 per cent in April and 13.45 per cent in March.
According to NBS, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in the prices of meat, oils and fats, bread/cereals, potatoes, yam, fish, milk, cheese, egg and vegetables.
Inflation is a quantitative measurement of the rate at which the average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy increases over a period of time.
Akintunde noted that having more farmers in the Anchor Borrowers Programme was imperative considering the increasing population of the country.
He said increased access of smallholder farmers to funding and quality inputs would reduce the rising food inflation rate and invariably the cost of food prices across the country.
“It cuts to the fundamentals of food production in Nigeria. Agriculture accounts for about 25 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but less than five per cent funding from the banks.
“Invariably the high cost of lending from commercial banks will definitely impact on the cost of production.
“Also, a lot of farmers lack access to inputs at an affordable rate. If we have more farmers in the CBN’s programme, it would address some of these issues,” he said.