As part of efforts to maintain food stability, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to engage over 400,000 youth farmers through its Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS).
Also aimed at taking unemployed youths off the labour markets, CBN’s newly introduced AADS will target a minimum of 10,000 youth farmers across 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The WHISTLER gathered from a top CBN source that the special agricultural programme “has the potential of reaching 120,000 youth farmers per state”.
“The AADS as you know is a special agric program focusing on youths in the 36 states plus FCT and under the scheme, we are targeting a minimum of 10,000 youths per state for a start,” said the source.
“The CBN is ready to spend more from the N220 billion to support agriculture. If with N45 billion we were able to produce more than two million metric tons of rice in 12 months I believe strongly that if we invest more in agriculture, Nigeria will be able to meet the six million metric tons of rice which is our national rice needs,” the source further stated.
Meanwhile, CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, had previously said that the special programme is part of the Federal Government’s expanded Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
“The CBN is forming these partnerships to further ramp up domestic production of identified commodities by leveraging the existing organized structures of the agricultural associations nationwide, thereby providing huge economics of scale in the implementation of the programme,” Okorafor had previously said.