The Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme bill has been passed into law after it’s third reading on the 7th of June 2016.
The bill which was first read at the National Assembly on 8th October, 2015 is meant to provide a regulatory framework for the agriculture credit fund which shall promote commercial agriculture in Nigeria. It will also ensure credit support for production, storage and processing of target commodities.
The scheme under this act shall provide and oversee fund which shall complement other special initiatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria in providing concessionary funding for agriculture which is mostly for small scale farmers.
The establishment of the scheme is to fast track the development of the agricultural sector by providing credit facilities to commercial agriculture at a single (1-9) digit interest rate.
The scheme will also enhance national food security by increasing food supply and effecting lower prices of agricultural products and produce,increase output, generate employment, diversify the revenue base, increase foreign exchange earnings and provide input for the industrial sector on a sustainable basis.
The target of the scheme covers agricultural value chain activities from input supply, production of economic crops, storage, marketing, processing, mechanization and other infrastructure.
Eligibility for participation in the scheme is for the borrower to be a limited liability company that has a clear business plan and can provide up-to-date record on its business operation if any.
The management of the scheme shall be the responsibility of the Central Bank of Nigeria.