…says 4.8m farmers benefit from ABP
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured of an imminent drop in prices of food and other affiliated commodities in the country.
The President gave this assurance Tuesday at the official commissioning ceremony of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Rice Paddy Pyramid at the Abuja International Trade Fair Complex.
According to him, more that 4.8 million smallholder farmers had benefitted from the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) with the increase in the production of 23 agricultural products including maize, rice, oil palm, cocoa, cassava, tomato and livestock.
Buhari, who urged the people to exercise patience, assured that with the increase in food production across the country, prices would crash to make it more affordable to the people.
According to the President, rice production in the country has increased to 7.5 million metric tons annually up from less than 4 metric tons his government inherited in 2015.
This increase, Buhari credited to the introduction of CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program by his government.
“I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, which led to the release of processed rice to the markets by the rice millers. The measure will aid our efforts at reducing the price of rice in Nigeria,” he said.
Buhari disclosed that the number of standard rice mills in the country has increased from 15 to over 50 following the introduction of the ABP creating jobs and reducing unemployment hinting that the output would increase when two additional mills are started in Lagos and Katsina states.
Noting that the large margins in the business of rice has also encouraged more people to show interest in investing in agribusiness, the President described the event as a testament to the fact that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme was working.