Nigerian Breweries wants Sorghum included in Anchor Borrower Scheme

The Nigerian Breweries Plc has urged the Federal Government to include sorghum among crops listed under the ‘Anchor Borrower Programme’.

The beer giant hinged it request on the growing demand by manufacturing companies for the crop.

Speaking at the Nigeria’s Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Hans Essaadi, the managing director of Nigerian Breweries, said the company’s decision to cultivate sorghum saved it some foreign exchange and also reduced its production cost in the last few years.

He explained that government adding sorghum to the agricultural commodities under the special borrowing scheme would reduce the pressure on foreign exchange. He likewise opined that Sorghum’s inclusion to the scheme would encourage smallholder farmers to cultivate the crop, thereby providing more jobs.

What is Anchor Borrowing?

It is a means granted to smallholder farmers to access capital. The Central Bank of Nigeria launched the scheme to link smallholder farmers (SHFs) to reputable companies (anchors) involved in the production and processing of key agricultural commodities. The targeted crops are Cereals (Rice, Maize, wheat etc.); Cotton; Roots and Tubers (Cassava, Potatoes, Yam, Ginger etc.); Sugarcane; Tree crops (Oil palm, Cocoa, Rubber etc.); Legumes (Soybean, Sesame seed, Cowpea etc.); Tomato; Livestock (Fish, Poultry, Ruminants etc.)

Under the scheme, smallholder farmers receive loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bill towards conservation of foreign reserve.