Nigeria: Kebbi & Niger can supply 2m tonnes of rice – CBN
According the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, said that Kebbi and Niger states may generate two million metric tonnes of rice at the end of the season and reduce level of rice importation. Emefiele gave the indication, weekend, while inspecting the Zone A rice plantation of Baddegi, Bida local council of Niger State, saying that with the Anchor Borrowers Programme (APB) of the bank, Nigeria would soon achieve rice self-sufficiency. He said that there were several other states working under the ABP to take Nigeria’s rice production in excess three million metric tonnes by 2017.
The CBN released over N2bn for rice production under the ABP to the farmers, while the bank targeted three million metric tonnes or more of rice production by 2017 farming season. The 2016 planting season would yield in excess 2 million metric tonnes, said the governor. The CBN governor was on the inspection tour with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubskar Atiku Bagudu. “About 14,000 farmers in Niger State have been supported under the scheme in Niger State and we have disbursed close to N2bn under the programme,” Emefiele said. “The state government has also applied and we are supporting them further. The topography in Niger State is excellent for several crops production, thus, we will do more to Suport Niger State. We will also try to support the farmers to contain incidences of flooding so the farmers can benefit. Niger State is also competing with Kebbi State to provide us with about 1 million metric tonnes of rice this year. This is just the raining season farming but we will work with the communities for dry season farming by providing them necessary support.” The minister of agriculture and social development said that the government would support the farmers with harvesters and rice mill.