The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, says it is working to access the $30 billion agricultural grant contributed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donor agencies for rice production in Africa.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, stated that the Association had submitted a template that would qualify it for the grant.
According to him, a team of experts from Geneva had met with the Association on the grant, which Nigerian farmers can access as much as $600 million.
He said the visit was fallout of the Green Revolution Forum tagged `New Push for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation,’ held in September 2016 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, where the Fund was pledged. He said the Grant would cover various rice value chains including production, processing, packaging and marketing, and would assist the Country attain self sufficiency in rice production.
Goronyo listed other partners that contributed to the fund to include Grow Africa and John Kufor Foundation.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed its guidelines for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).
The announcement made in a memo signed by the apex bank’s Financial Policy and Regulation department said the move is to enhance the effectiveness of the Scheme by mitigating the risks faced by participating financial institutions in financing the agriculture sector.

“This revision affects Sections 16 and 17 of the Guidelines and introduces significant changes, including a requirement that henceforth, the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) should provide insurance cover for all agricultural facilities/projects under the CACS in line with the NAIC Act.

“In furtherance of the above revision, the CBN hereby directs the immediate commencement of insurance premium payments by borrowers under the CACS scheme”, it stated.

The Commercial Agriculture Scheme is financed from the proceeds of the N200 billion, three year bond raised by the Debt Management Office (DMO). The Fund is made available to participating bank (s), to finance commercial agricultural enterprises.

Its objectives include fast tracking development of the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy by providing credit facilities to commercial agricultural enterprises at a single digit interest rate; enhancing national food security by increasing food supply and effecting lower agricultural produce and product prices, thereby promoting low food inflation.
The other objectives include reducing the cost of credit in agricultural production to enable farmers exploit the potentials of the sector; and Increasing output, generating employment, diversifying the revenue base, increasing foreign exchange earnings and provide input for the industrial sector on a sustainable basis.
The African Export-Import Bank’s (Afrexim Bank) has launched a $300 million equity offering, for which it is using depositary receipts backed by its Class “D” shares and is seeking for participation from Nigerian investors.
According to the Bank, the depositary receipts, which will be listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius is being managed by SBM Asset Managers as lead arranger, and will open the Bank’s shareholding to the investor public. It will also mark the first time a supranational bank would issue depositary receipts through an African stock exchange.
The Bank is aiming to raise between $100 million and $300 million through the depositary receipts issuance as part of a bigger target to mobilize up to $1 billion in equity from new and existing investors over the next five years.
The Bank’s President Benedict Oramah who spoke at a meeting with top investors in Lagos said that the issuance of the depositary receipts was meant to enhance the Bank’s capitalization so as to significantly narrow the trade financing gap in Africa, which is currently estimated at $120 billion annually, and to meet the strategic objective of growing intra-African trade.
According to him, the issuance also represents an opportunity for the Bank to diversify its shareholder base by enabling investors in Africa and beyond, who have not yet invested in the Bank to do so. He also noted that Afrexim Bank had consistently delivered development impact in its member countries, including Nigeria where virtually every banking institution had benefited from its support.

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