First Bank of Nigeria has disbursed N100 billion into the Agricultural Sector under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) initiative.

The Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, at the bank’s recent 2019 Agric Expo tagged: ‘Agricultural Value Chain: Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks,’ held in Lagos, disclosed this.

The CACS is a Central Bank of Nigeria development finance initiative that was introduced to provide long tenured credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprises at a single digit interest rate

He said obligors included small, medium and large-scale enterprise in the agricultural value chain.

Adeduntan said, the bank also supported 118 projects, representing over 23 percent out of a total of 509 projects supported by all banks in the country.

He noted that the projects spread across input supplies, primary production, processing and marketing.

“We are also supporting research and development through the endowment of professorial chairs in agriculture in some Nigerian universities.

“We have also provided infrastructure to support learning and development in Agriculture associated fields in Nigerian universities,” Adeduntan stated.

The First Bank CEO also stated that the bank was also in partnership with some states in the CBN’s Accelerated Development Agric Development Scheme (AADS). Even more, he stated that the bank is partnering with public sector institutions to support several state governments on Agricultural Development Trust Fund Scheme

“Agricultural Development Trust Fund Scheme was designed to provide credit facilities to small scale farmers who would otherwise be constrained by the lack of collaterals.

“Agricultural financing has been and is still a core part of our business in FirstBank today. “The bank commenced operations with a major strategy which was focused on financing agriculture development as well as enabling farmers and agribusiness.

“The bank has a large base of small and medium scale enterprises and corporate agri-business clients across Nigeria. These enterprises operate in all segments of the agricultural value chain.

According to him, “the value chain covers primary production, storage, processing, packaging, and agro-export.”