Agriculture

CBN Rice Policy Will Boost Local Production, Create Employment – Emefiele

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the Bank’s backward integration initiative was designed to revamp local rice production capacity and create employment.

Emefiele, who urged rice mills in the country to embrace the CBN’s backward integration initiative, said the policy would also help the country to conserve foreign exchange reserves,

Speaking at the inauguration of the Garewa Rice Mill in Kano, Kano State, on Tuesday, Emefiele stressed the need for rice millers in Nigeria to get involved in paddy production to guarantee sustainable supply of paddy to their mills

According to a CBN statement made available to Flowerbudnews, Emefiele counseled that involvement of Millers in paddy production would complement supply from the smallholder farmers through the CBN’s partnership with the Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN) and prime anchors.

The CBN Governor noted that the number of rice mills in Nigeria had grown from less than ten, with a combined capacity of less than 350,000 metric tons, prior to the launch of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in 2015, to over 60 integrated rice mills.

The mills now had a combined capacity of about 3 million metric tons as at January 2022, with about 10 more mills scheduled to be commissioned later this year, Emefiele disclosed.

The CBN Governor said that the increasing number of rice mills, which were complemented by hundreds of small-scale mills located in every State of the Federation, attested to the conducive environment the CBN had created in the rice value chain through its initiatives and stakeholders’ collaboration.

He stressed the need to match the increasing milling capacity of rice nationwide with increased paddy production, urging millers to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the Private-Sector Led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (P-AADS) of the Bank to boost production.

Emefiele said that the facilities provided long-term financing option to millers to finance commercial farms, land development, irrigation facilities and other agricultural infrastructure that will enhance their respective production plans.

He noted that the quality of milled rice in Nigeria could match most foreign brands, and expressed gladness that the Bank’s collaboration with the fiscal authorities had helped to curtail the proliferation of Nigerian markets by sub-standard imported rice varieties

The CBN Governor enjoined Nigerians to heed the call of President Muhammadu Buhari to “produce what we eat and eat what we produce,” by patronizing rice brands milled in Nigeria,

Mr. Emefiele said that the resuscitated Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) will facilitate grading, sorting, quality assurance and storage infrastructure for key agricultural commodities and also enhance price discovery for smallholder farmers.

He added that the exchange would provide aggregation hubs for millers to enhance paddy off-take and grow to providing futures for millers and farmers to lock in prices and operate under a controlled price regime.

In his remarks, the Kano Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, thanked the CBN Governor, for not only extending ABP facilities to Kano, but also assisting the State in the area of infrastructural development of facilities such as the Tiga and Chalawa hydro-electricity dam projects.

Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, eulogized the CBN Governor for empowering youth and creating wealth in the country.

The promoter to the rice mill, Alhaji Isa Garewa commended the vision of the CBN Governor on initiating the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), which has turned out to be the saving grace of Nigeria, especially with the outbreak of the Corona virus (COVID-19). (Flowerbud News)

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