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FG begins sales of 200,000 metric tones of paddy rice to 18 Nigerian millers

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FG begins sales of 200,000 metric tones of paddy rice to 18 Nigerian millers

The Federal Government through Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower Programme, has commenced sales of 200,000 metric tones of paddy rice to 18 millers out of 30 in the country.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made this known at the 5th year anniversary of anchor borrower programme,National Rice Festival of the second cycle of 2020/2021 dry season rice cultivation and sales of paddy rice 2020 harvest to millers flag- off in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.

He said,”Today we are witnessing the harvest and sales of over 200,000 metric tones of paddy, this paddy will, today, be sold to over 18 rice millers we have in Nigeria out of the 30 we have.

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“Just as we have given the money to farmers for the anchor borrower programme, we will be disbursing the paddy aggregation loans to those milers in order to use the loan to pay the farmers so that the farmers can repay their loans.”

Emefiele revelad that the CBN had financed 2, 923,937 small holder farmers cultivating 3,647,643 hectares of land across 21 commodities through over 33 participating financial institutions in the entire 36 of the federation, including the FCT.

He said that the experience of 2015 to date, had led to the significant improvement in the execution of the programme, adding that the bank had added several layers of control to improve on transparency and accountability among stakeholders.

“Today is a demonstration of the growth that had been attained in the agricultural sphere.

“It is important to note that, we are still far from attaining perfection but the emerging result from the programme reaffirms our belief in the potential inherent in our agricultural sector.

“Farming will become profitable venture in Nigeria, as all farmers because of the guaranteed off-take of their produce are all smiling to the banks.

“Under the 2020 wet season, CBN and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) partnership, we financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 states of the country,” he said.

He explained that the massive pyramids being launched was part of the harvest from the CBN/partners schemes, adding that it was a further confirmation of significant increase in domestic production of key staples in the country.

“Repayment of loan is crucial to the sustainability of the programme, and we are constantly engaging farmers to enhance their trust with these systems by rewarding farmers with good repayment record with facility effective market linkage with millers for the off- take of their output.

“In support of the growth recorded in this drive to attain self – sufficiency in food production, and to moderate prices of agricultural commodities, the President Muhammadu Buhari,has approved the resuscitation of Nigeria’s commodity exchange and the CBN in partnership with other stakeholders, will be committing , at least, N50 billion to this initiative,” he said.

The governor also expressed the bank commitment to financing one million hectares of rice farms in the present dry season farming with the plan of exploring two cycles of production with the season.

In his remarks, Gov. Atiku Bagudu, said the display of the pyramid riches hardly ever witnessed as parts of the loan repayment programme of the CBN anchor borrower programme launched in 2015 in the state.

“This is a great testimony to the journey of five years so far.

“This also shows that despite the challenges of devastating covid-19 pandemic on oil revenues, flooding and other issues; our hardworking populace supported by good economic policies under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari and economic institutions, particularly the CBN, as well as other ministries, the resilient Nigerian people have been at work.

” This is in spite of all, we can witness this achievement,our Nigerians deserve commendation, ” he said.

Bagudu expressed optimism that the farmers would take the country out of the economic challenges and be food secured.

The governor commended President Buhari for his magnanimous supports to all states in the country in oder to ensure that economic activity were kept functional.

Also speaking, the President of Benin Republic, Mr Patrice Talon, who was represented by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aurelie Agbenonci, said that a team of about four ministers was in the state to witness the celebration of successes by the state in particular and country at large.

“This is a celebration of hardwork and commitment by Nigerian farmers; this is a dream came true and a vision actualised.

“We have seen it all, and we are going to establish a partnership in milling and produce rice together to feed the whole West African Sub- Region.

“Our comment as a republic, is to learn and tap from each others’ experiences as well as to put mechanism together to produce rice mutually in order to stop the importation of foreign and toxic rice into our countries; and we believe we can do it,” the president said.

Earlier, the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to food security and visionary ideas for the initiation of the programme five years ago.

“We would never forget the President emphatic and realistic statement when he said that we much feed ourselves.

“He came to the state five years ago here, at the same spot, flagged off the programme, and now we are here today to witness successes of the programme.

“The pyramids flanked here, attested to the fact that the call to feed ourselves had been answered by our farmers, and the farmers will sure feed this nation,” he said.

Goronyo added that the pyramids were a friction of what the farmers had produced via CBN anchor borrower programme.

“We celebrated successes with pyramids in Niger State, and we are going to celebrate same successes in Ekiti, Gombe,among other states in the country,” he said.

The president thanked the CBN governor and Gov. Bagudu for their untired supports and commitment towards actualising the dreams of President Muhammadu Buhari in ensuring that the stoppage of foreign rice importation via massive rice production in the country.

Those in attendance at the event include,Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayomi, senators, members house of representatives,emirs, state assembly members and good officials, among others.

FG begins sales of 200,000 metric tones of paddy rice to 18 Nigerian millers

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