The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has projected a minimum of 1 million hectares of rice nationwide for each of the planting season in 2021, through a combination of RIFAN farmers and prime/private anchors.
This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele during the unveiling of the first rice pyramids in South-West geo-political zone.
Commenting on the rationale behind the drive, Emefiele said: ‘’ The CBN is also positioned to ensure the integration of our farmers into the Government’s Economic Sustainability Program, aimed at providing 5 million homes with electricity using solar energy”
“We believe significant improvements in domestic production of staple food items, would help in attaining our price stability goals while reducing our dependence on imported food items.’’
Emefiele debunked the claims suggesting that the Bank’s targeted interventions in the agricultural sector are tilted in favour of a certain section of the country. In addition, he canvassed for more private sector investment in Nigeria’s agricultural value chain.
Emefiele expressed optimism that Nigerian youths have what it takes, in terms of talent, energy, enthusiasm and capacity to revolutionize agricultural production in Nigeria. He also revealed that the revamped Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) will commence operations by the 4th quarter of 2021.
In summary, Emefiele revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria finances 3,107,890 farmers for the cultivation of 3,801,397 hectares across 21 commodities through 23 Participating Financial Institutions in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT.
It is pertinent to note that these measures are a big boost in ensuring that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in food production, combat youth unemployment and food insecurity, saving hard-earned foreign exchange through the process. Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier unveiled the first maize pyramids and flagged off 2021 maize wet season farming in Katsina State, as captured by naijabusiness.com.ng