The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned banks participating in the Private-Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme against diverting the intervention funds meant for agro-processors and others.
The CBN gave the warning in its guidelines for the scheme which was signed by its Director, Development Finance Department, Yusuf Philip, and released on Tuesday.
It said to address the food security and youth unemployment challenges across the country, the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme was introduced to engage 370,000 youths in agricultural production in collaboration with state governments.
The apex bank said the P-AADS was also developed to complement AADS by exploring private sector partnership to facilitate more rapid land clearing for the production of key agricultural commodities.
“The broad objective of the P-AADS is to facilitate increased private sector agricultural production of staple foods and industrial raw materials, as well as support food security, job creation and economic diversification,” it said.
According to the guidelines, eligible participants include processors of agricultural commodities engaged in backward integration; prime anchors and commodity associations participating under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme with evidence of contiguous land readily available for clearing and cultivation of agricultural commodities.
The CBN said other companies and individuals with evidence of ownership of contiguous land readily available for clearing and cultivation of agricultural commodities could also participate.