The Central Bank of Nigeria has revised the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) guidelines.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in a document “Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) Guidelines” by its Development Finance Department, revised in September 2021.

According to the apex bank, the programme evolved from consultations with stakeholders comprising the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, State Governments, agro-processors, commodity associations, financial institutions and smallholder farmers to ramp up agricultural production, boost non-oil exports and diversify the revenue base of Nigeria.

Key highlights of the guidelines

The CBN in line with its developmental functions as enshrined in Section 31 of the CBN Act 2007, established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers (SHFs) and reputable companies (anchors) involved in the production and processing of key agricultural commodities.

The core of the Programme is to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bill towards conservation of foreign reserve.

The broad objective of the ABP is to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers and processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and ensuring food price stability.

The CBN stated that it would increase banks’ financing to improve agricultural productivity by creating an ecosystem that drives value chain financing.
The CBN would bear 50% credit risk after satisfactory evidence that every means of loan recovery has been exhausted by the PFI.
The CBN may vary the risk-sharing ratio based on the specific peculiarities/prospects of the Anchor/Project.
For losses arising from the negligence and/or inaction of the PFI in the execution of any project, the PFI shall bear the full risk and financial losses thereof.
The PFI shall foreclose on pledged collateral one year after expiration of the initial facility and the risk-sharing ratio prescribed above shall apply on the amount net in default.
The maximum loan limit for each eligible farmer under the Programme shall be decided based on CBN ratified Economics of Production (EOP) and validated land size. Repayment shall be by produce and/or cash as may be prescribed by the CBN.
The loans granted under the Programme shall be fully repaid within the tenor of the facility.
Where the facility was accessed through a Commodity Association, the leadership of the Association shall be responsible for full repayment of facility granted to its members.

According to the CBN, the revised Guidelines addresses current realities and developments in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, aimed at promoting best practice in the implementation of the Programme.