ABOUT 36,000 bags of rice produced by local farmers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)- funded Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) have hit Nigerian markets.
The bags of rice were produced during the 2019/2020 dry season
It was learnt that the mass production of the local rice was designed to crash the price of Nigeria's most consumed staple food.
The scheme, funded by CBN, is being midwifed by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
According to RIFAN, sales of its padi rice to millers was flagged off at the weekend in Taraba State.
The Secretary of RIFAN, Taraba State chapter, Mamman Rabiu, in a statement last night said ...36,000 bags of padi rice were sold to the integrated millers, local millers, women groups, among others at the subsidized price of N11,000 per 100-kilogram bag.
...The 36,000 bags were collected from members of RIFAN as 30 percent equity of the 2019/2020 dry season recovery. The padi was sold to millers in the local communities. And they are expected to process the padi and sell it back to the community at a subsidized price."
Rabiu said RIFAN has signed an MoU with the millers to sell the finished products at a subsidized price as part of efforts to ensure food security.
He said the agreement covers integrated millers who have bigger machinery for de-stoning and polishing.
He added: ...For example, there are plans to sell a processed bag of rice at N15,000 per 50 kilogram bag. It is worth mentioning here that a 50kg local bag of rice sells at an average N18,000 in Taraba state. On the other hand, the RIFAN agreement will see small holding millers (who don't have machinery for de-stoning and polishing, etc) to sell their 50kg bag at between N13-N13,500.
He said the Taraba State ...success story is what is happening across the entire federation, ...The essence of ABP is to ensure food safety and security. By this, the local farmers are economically empowered, while the general public is fed with healthier and nutritious rice at ...President Buhari's action against hunger and ensuring food security was made possible by CBN under the dynamic leadership of Mr Godwin Emefiele.
...In keeping with his promise to run a central bank that would serve the growth and development needs of the country, Emefiele ensured that CBN becomes a strategic driver of economic growth of the country.
...The CBN under him has introduced various initiatives for concessionary funding of agriculture, which is widely recognized as the sector that has the potential to drive economic growth affordable prices."
This perspective was echoed recently by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Nigeria's former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, while speaking on food security.
...The future of food in the world will depend on what Africa does with agriculture. Therefore we must change our view on agriculture. Agriculture is not a development activity or a social sector; agriculture is a business. We must not use agriculture to manage poverty; instead, we must use agriculture to create wealth," the AfDB President said.
Source: The Nation