President Muhammadu Buhari will Tuesday unveil the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s huge Rice Pyramids in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the mega rice pyramids project is a collaboration of the CBN with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
Information obtained from the apex bank’s official website stated that the pyramids, which it described as the largest in the world, were enabled by the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).
It stated that the ABP, since inauguration in November, 2015, had increased the average yield of rice per hectare from 1.8 metric tonnes to five metric tonnes, while discouraging importation of the commodity.
“The ABP has enabled 95 per cent reduction of Nigeria’s annual rice import bill from 1.5 billion dollars in 2015 to 18.5 million dollars.
” It has also created 12.8 million direct and indirect jobs across different value chains and food belts of the country, ” it said.
The CBN said in spite of challenges of flooding during the wet season, the COVID-19 pandemic and lingering insecurity in 2020 and 2021, it was still able to work with other stakeholders to inspire farmers to reap a bountiful harvest.
It added that similar rice and maize pyramids had been unveiled in states like Kebbi, Niger, Gombe, Ekiti, among others.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders have commended the apex bank for the ABP initiative and support to farmers.
A farmer, Abubakar Alli, said the idea of the ABP, and CBN supporting state governments to boost food production had been encouraging.
“I must commend the CBN for its support through the ABP, toward rice production in Nigeria and supporting different state governments to boost production,” he said.
Also commending the initiative, Chinonso Elendu, urged the authorities to ensure farmers were safe in their farms.
“This is a very good move, but we need to make sure our farmers are safe and crops should be affordable to everyone,” he said.
According to Hussein Ibrahim, the unveiling of rice pyramids across the country, which indicates improved capacity to cultivate rice, should also make it cheap and affordable to the common man.
NAN) reports the Abuja mega rice pyramids are located at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Trade Fair Complex, Abuja.
ASJA lauds partnership
Meanwhile, the Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA) has commended the strategic partnership between the CBN and RIFAN under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the federal government.
According to the group, the partnership had increased rice and other cereals in the country.
In a statement by ASJA Executive Director Felix Adadu, the group expressed confidence in the Buhari administration and the laudable initiatives of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, which it said, had helped to strengthen the economy and the well-being of ordinary citizens of the country.
Adadu said the intervention of the CBN is gradually returning Nigeria to the era of the Rice Pyramid, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
The statement reads in full:
The recent bountiful harvest recorded by Rice Farmers across the country is indeed pleasant news in the sense that the quest for food security and sufficiency might be around the corner.
The strategic partnership between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the federal government is ingenious and potentials to increase rice and other cereals in the country.
The intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria is gradually returning Nigeria to the era of the Rice Pyramid. It is indeed a statement that CBN intervention has also helped with the crash of the price of rice and created jobs, and boosted Nigeria’s local capacity to meet demand.
This is commendable and an indication of the federal government’s commitment through the Central Bank of Nigeria towards boosting food production in the country. According to reliable information at the public disposal, the CBN, in partnership with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, is targeting one million farmers for rice production in the 2021-2022 dry season farming.
This is highly commendable, and the Advocates of Social Justice for All sees this as a step in the right direction for the cultivation of rice and other cereals in the country. According to statistical information, the 2021-2022 dry season farming, though targeting one million farmers but by extension will employ over 10 million farmers across production, processing and marketing value chains.
The provision and sale of Rice paddy at subsidized rates to farmers across the country is a strategy to make rice affordable to consumers. Thus, our position is that the CBN has once again positioned itself as a contributor to sustainable growth and development in the country.
We wish to commend the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emeifele, for his continuous support to the critical agricultural sector in Nigeria through various fare reaching initiatives, all aimed towards food security and sufficiency.
Without a doubt, we state that the efforts of the CBN so far have the potential to transform Nigeria into a major exporter of rice and other farm produce. It is also worthy of note that earlier in 2021, the CBN flagged off the first-ever rain-fed wheat programme in the country, seeking to slash the importation of the food commodity by 60 per cent and save $2 billion annually in foreign exchange.
It is on record that between September and October 2021, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria disbursed N43.19 billion to support the cultivation of 250,000 hectares of maize, sorghum, soybeans and rice during the 2021 dry season farming and N5.88 billion to finance six large scale agricultural project under the commercial agricultural agri-business scheme. These and many more intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria has positioned the Apex bank as an ardent contributor to the development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is by all indication a visionary leader who has consistently displayed an unalloyed passion for not just implementing sound monetary policies in the country; he has also demonstrated a commitment to supporting causes within the provisions of the CBN Act in addressing some of the developmental challenges in the country.
The Advocates for Social Justice for All sees the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the cultivation of rice and other cereals in the country as critical and timely by all ramifications and should be sustained.
We call on stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Nigeria to see in the Central Bank of Nigeria a worthy partner in the government’s efforts towards harnessing our agricultural potentials towards food security and sufficiency.
While it can be overemphasised that the Central Bank of Nigeria has done well to create jobs in the value chain, it has addressed to some extent the issue of unemployment.
It consequently behoves well-meaning corporate bodies and individuals to either emulate the CBN example or seek collaborations with other associations in the agricultural sector in the country.