The ACGSF was established by Decree No. 20 of 1977, and started operations in April, 1978. Its original share capital and paid-up capital were N100 million and N85.6 million, respectively. The Federal Government holds 60% and the Central Bank of Nigeria, 40% of the shares. The capital base of the Scheme was increased to N3 billion in March, 2001. The Fund guarantees credit facilities extended to farmers by banks up to 75% of the amount in default net of any security realized. The Fund is managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which handles the day-to-day operations of the Scheme. The Guidelines stipulate the eligible enterprises for which guarantees could be issued under the Scheme.
Between 1978 and 1989 when the government stipulated lending quotas for banks under the Scheme, there was consistent increase in the lending portfolios of banks to agriculture, but after the deregulation of the financial system, banks started shying away by reducing their loans to the sector due to the perceived risk.