The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that it would create about 10 million jobs in five years through support to small-scale farmers nationwide.

Isaac Okoroafor, director of corporate communications of the Apex Bank, said that the bank would create the jobs by providing strategic support to smallholder farmers and off-takers that would buy agricultural produce from the farmers, Daily Trust reported.

According to Okoroafor, the job creation target will be achieved through strategic financing to farmers of cassava, cocoa, maize, tomatoes, cotton, fisheries, poultry, oil palm, among other agricultural primary agricultural produce that is cultivated in this country.

He said that apart from funding, the bank will also provide the farmers with high yielding seedlings and extension services to ensure that they succeed.

“The CBN is doing everything possible to support local farmers and anchor companies to ensure that the economy is expanded which will create a value chain and our target is to create five million jobs in the next five years to reduce the banditry, kidnapping and other social vices that are being witnessed today,” he said.

Okoroafor said that the intention of the bank is to bring back the farm settlements with each section of the country engaging in the crop that had been the economic mainstay of the country before the discovery of crude oil in commercial qualities.

He explained that the CBN “is desirous of returning the farm settlements back to the country. Nigeria used to be the largest exporter of oil palm, but today we import oil palm but with the coming to assist with finance, improved seedlings and support of anchor companies the farmers will produce more knowing that their produce will be immediately bought after harvesting at no loss to them.”

Okoroafor advised small and large scale farmers to take advantage of the support being provided by the CBN in view of its multiplier implications for farmers’ welfare and the nation’s economy.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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