The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released an evaluation and impact assessment report on the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) – a program that was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to support the Agricultural sector through a special credit intervention fund of N200billion. This funding was made available to participating banks to finance commercial agricultural enterprises at a maximum interest rate of 9%. This also includes a N1.0bn state government loan availed to participating banks for on-lending to farmers’ cooperative societies and other areas of agricultural development which are in line with the objectives of the Scheme (CACS).
Key findings from the survey revealed that:
- Beneficiaries of the CACS recorded a growth differential of 18.5% and 14.5% when compared with growth in agriculture and manufacturing respectively.
- Beneficiaries were able to upgrade their operational capacity.
- Business failures due to poor business plans, late disbursement of funds, the shortfall in the planned budget, tedious bureaucracy and bottlenecks of participating banks were some of the issues highlighted.
This report clearly underscores the CBN’s developmental roles in supporting the real sector of the economy. We believe that in the long run – after the impact lag associated with these kinds of interventions fully materialize more positives would be recorded in the Agriculture sector.