Wednesday, March 03, 2021 / 09:00 PM / by
CBN / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @cenbank
Tasks Nigerians on Agriculture... Unveils Rice Pyramids
The Governor of the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele says the Anchor Borrowers' Programme
of the Bank, has emphasised the need for all stakeholders to sustain current
efforts championed by the Bank to galvanize agricultural production towards
meeting the requirements of Nigeria's growing population.
Mr. Emefiele gave the charge
in Zauro, Kebbi State, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, during the flag-off of the
2020 wet season harvest aggregation and 2020 dry season input distribution
under the CBN-Rice Farmers' Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Anchor Borrowers' Programme, as part of the fifth anniversary of the Anchor Borrowers' Programme
He noted that Nigeria was
naturally blessed to meet her food requirement and had no reason to continually
repeat mistakes of the past of neglecting agriculture.
"The rhetoric around neglect
of previous years will remain part of our history and the best time to correct
those mistakes is now and every stakeholder must contribute their quota to
guarantee the realization of these national targets.
"Covid-19 and the associated
lockdowns globally have shown that nations only export out of their reserves.
Let us start building our own reserves now," he added.
The flag-off, which comes
barely three months after the CBN showcased sky-high pyramids in Minna, Niger
State, to highlight its intervention in the maize value chain, also featured
the display of pyramids, which were rice harvests brought in by farmers in the
He noted that the ABP, which
is an essential part of President Muhammadu Buhari's drive for economic diversification,
had improved the fortunes of rural farmers, transforming agriculture into a
potential for economic growth.
According to Emefiele, the
ABP, in the past five years, had been characterized with huge successes,
learning points and challenges. Specifically, he noted that a total of
2,923,937 farmers cultivating 3,647,643 hectares across 21 commodities through
23 participating Financial Institutions had been financed in the 36 States of
the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory from inception till date.
He also disclosed that the
Bank, under the 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, financed 221,450 farmers
for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 States.
"The North-West zone with
85,261 farmers that cultivated 120,218 hectares represented 38.5% in total
number of farmers and 54.3% in total number of hectares financed," he
disclosed, adding that the massive pyramids being launched in Kebbi were
harvests from various fields across Kebbi State and a confirmation of the
positive outlook of the Anchor Borrowers' Programme.
Speaking further, Mr.
Emefiele said the partnership between the CBN and the Kebbi State Government
and RIFAN aimed at strategically complementing the Economic Sustainability Plan
of the Buhari Administration. Following the President's approval of the
resuscitation of the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) and the commitment of
N50b by the CBN and other Stakeholders, he said a vibrant commodity exchange
would enhance post-harvest handling, guarantee effective pricing for farmers,
minimize the adverse effect of middlemen and ultimately transfer the gains from
primary production to other nodes of the value chain.
While acknowledging the
importance of loan repayment to the sustainability of the programme, he
stressed that the CBN was constantly engaging the farmers to enhance their
trust in the system, provide a competitive price arrangement and facilitate
effective market linkages for their outputs.
To further create value and
transfer these gains along the value chain, he said the CBN also maps miller to
off-take the paddies and track the release of outputs to the market as the Bank
strives to manage inflation and grow the rice value chain in Nigeria.
The CBN Governor expressed
optimism about Nigeria's capacity to achieve food self-sufficiency within the
shortest time possible, adding that the CBN and RIFAN both target cultivation
of 1million hectares of rice farms; which is over 350% increase from the
221,450 cultivated in 2020. He said the
Bank and RIFAN equally nursed an ambitious two cycles of production in the dry
season, which will trigger a continuous drop in price of rice in the country.
While also noting that henceforth,
farmers will repay their loans in paddy for ease of repayment, he urged
beneficiaries to repay their loans in order for others to equally benefit.
In his remarks at the event,
which featured the sale of paddy to millers as loan repayment by rice framers
under the CBN-RIFAN 2020 wet season cultivation, the Kebbi State Governor, Sen.
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, commended the CBN Governor and his team for the novel
initiatives. He noted that the moves had not only brought succour to the
country in terms of food security and diversification but had also successfully
made the country exit recession in two quick successions.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State,
who doubles as the Chairman, Nigeria Governors' Forum, commended the CBN for
thinking outside the orthodox paradigm of growing GDP only.
Also speaking, the
President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo
expressed gratitude to President Buhari for his vision that Nigeria must feed
herself by producing what she eats and eating what she produces.
While also noting that the
CBN had done well to actualise the Buhari vision, Goronyo said the CBN Governor
had proved to the world that agricultural revolution was doable.
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