Sustainable Agricultural Financing in Nigeria: Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) in Perspective (1989-2015)
Okonkwo, Ikeotuonye Victor and Ngini, Sufficiency Obioma
The somewhat neglect of the supposed main stay of Nigeria economy, agriculture, has resulted in near food crises and consumption oriented economy. Efforts were concentrated on the wasting mineral resources namely fossil oil that provided quick money to the detriment of overall good of Nigeria nation because sustainable diversification of the economy were not given proper attention. As a probable solution, Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977 and started operations in April 1978 to call attention to agricultural production and promote the farming business of the majority of Nigerians involved in subsistence farming by providing loans for financing their agricultural activities. The long term goal is to enhance the process of transformation from a predominant subsistence agriculture to a highly mechanized form to facilitate sustainable Agricultural production. The broad objective of this study is to assess sustainability of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund from 1989-2015. Sourcing data from the Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical bulletins and using descriptive tools and regression analysis, the work showed that the value of cash crops production and food crops production guaranteed loans by ACGSF is not significant to agricultural development in Nigeria and that the number of guaranteed loans by the ACGSF tend to favor the North regions perhaps because of population, more interest, level of awareness, or better farming environment that make for easier access to the agricultural loans. This study recommends that awareness promotion committee should be constituted from managers of the scheme to promote access to the fund especially in the Southern States of Nigeria; the farmers should be encouraged to form cooperatives to ease access to the fund; the various tiers of government (federal, states and local governments) should continue in promotion of entrepreneurship especially in areas of adding value to farm produces; and the federal Government should direct the benefiting states to contribute counterparty funding, at least 10% of the value assessed by beneficiaries from each state should be continuous funding support to the scheme by the respective States.