By Obinna Odogwu, awka
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has awarded two farmers from Anambra State, Miracle Onwuesi and Akam Chukwuemenam, for their outstanding performance in its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGSF) in 2021.
The CBN also awarded LAPO Microfinance Bank, Aguleri in the Anambra East local government area of the state for becoming the best participating financial institution in the state during the year under review.
While Onwuesi was named the best farmer, Akam was announced as the second best farmer of the year. The former received a plaque, certificate and a cash award of N100,000, but the latter received a certificate and a cash award of N75,000.
CBN Branch Comptroller in Awka, Mr. Benedict Maduagwu explained that ACGSF was established by the Federal Government in 1977 as one of the key strategies to boost food production in the country.
He said the operations of the scheme started in April 1978 with initial registered capital and paid up capital set at N100 million and N85.6 million respectively.
Maduagwu said that in 2019, the ACGSF Act was amended and new strategies were introduced which were aimed at repackaging and repositioning the program for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
“In 2020, the ACGSF Board reintroduced the ACGSF Best Farmers Award in the various states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to recognize outstanding farmers who have participated in the scheme.
“Farmers are those who have implemented the best agronomic practices, kept good agricultural records and recorded good returns to repay the loan when due.
“As a result, at the 39th ACGSF Board Meeting held in Calabar, Cross River State, Miss Miracle Onwuesi of LAPO Microfinance Bank, Aguleri emerged as the winner of Best Farmer of the Year 2021 from the ACGSF,” Maduagwu said.
LAPO MFB branch manager in Aguleri, Thelma Amaechi and Onwuesi, in their separate speeches, commended the CBN for the initiative, urging it not to slack off on its good works in the agricultural sector.
Amaechi said, “I’m so excited about this. I didn’t expect it. I know we have other microfinance banks and commercial banks that give better loans than us. It’s God who has everything. do. “
The head of CBN’s development finance office in the branch, Ms. Bridget Okparaeke, said the apex bank has “a catalog of development finance interventions covering some major sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing, MSMEs, infrastructure and health”.
Okparaeke said the objectives of the interventions were to increase lending to high-impact and job-creating sectors of the economy and to increase production in agriculture, manufacturing and services, among others.