Monday, October 3, 2022

Nigeria marks progress in mass production of rice

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is unveiling a giant pyramid of rice harvested by farmers to pay off bank loans borrowed by farmers to expand their production. Nigerian officials say the low-interest loans helped double the average yield of rice and maize, ending the country’s reliance on rice imports. The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to sell rice below market rates to reduce the high prices consumers pay for the staple.

A giant pyramid of rice bags stacked on top of one another was unveiled Tuesday at the chapter office of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce in Abuja.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the ceremony, which was attended by top government officials including the Central Bank and various state governors.

President Buhari praised the farmers and urged them to participate in the loan program as much as possible.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (c) delivers a speech at the launch of the largest rice pyramid in Abuja on January 18, 2022.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (c) delivers a speech at the launch of the largest rice pyramid in Abuja on January 18, 2022.

“It is my desired hope and expectation that other agricultural produce commodities will emulate the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in supporting our governance campaign for food self-sufficiency,” he said.

The Anchor Borrowers Program was launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2015. The scheme provides credit and technical advice to rice farmers so that they can expand production and increase yields while limiting the country’s dependence on imports.

Officials say that after more than five years, the program has yielded desired results, significantly reducing rice imports, and increasing local production from about 4.5 tonnes per year to nine.

Central Bank Governor Godwin Amphile says farmers’ resilience has paid off.

“I would like to thank all our holder farmers and the leadership of their various unions for their diligence, bravery, patriotism and [adaptability]He said, “The past few years have been very challenging for these people, as they have fought insurgency, banditry, lockdown and other related setbacks. In fact, we have lost some of our farmers to militancy attacks across the country. , while some could not reach their fields for several months.”

A Nigerian police officer walking with a sniffer dog inspects a pyramid of rice during the launch of the largest rice pyramid in Abuja, Nigeria January 18, 2022.

A Nigerian police officer walking with a sniffer dog inspects a pyramid of rice during the launch of the largest rice pyramid in Abuja, Nigeria January 18, 2022.

Nigeria banned the import of rice in 2015 for the purpose of locally grown staple production.

At Tuesday’s launch, officials expressed confidence that sufficient quantities of rice can be produced locally, adding that the trend could affect the domestic price of rice.

Meanwhile, the Rice Farmers Association urged Nigeria to take advantage of this opportunity and export the commodity to other West African countries.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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