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CBN flags off dry season rice farming, targets 1m hectares

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has set a target of one million hectares for rice cultivation in 2020 dry season from 500,000 hectares achieved in 2019 under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). In addition to rice as focal value chain, the apex bank has expanded Commodity Association Window to cover more commodities like maize, cassava, sorghum, soybean and ginger, among others, with the hope of achieving economic diversification drive.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the target yesterday in Minna, Niger State, at the input distribution to rice farmers and loan recovery drive under Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN)- CBN ABP. Emefiele expressed satisfaction with the modest achievements recorded under ABP. Represented by Deputy Governor (Corporate Services), Mr. Edward Adamu, he said: “From a modest pilot of 75,000 farmers in 26 states, the RIFAN-CBN ABP has now been fully established in all states of the federation and the FCT.

With the deployment of technology, which covered farmers’ enumeration, biometric capture and GPS mapping of farms all embedded to enhance the operational efficiency of the ABP. “The 2018 wet season witnessed a geometric rise in beneficiaries, as about 275,000 farmers were empowered to cultivate 220,000 hectares across all the 37 states of the Federation and FCT. The target hectarage for 2019 was 500,000 and we hope to achieve one million by 2020 dry season.”

On loan recovery, Emefiele said farmers had kept faith with repayment despite flood devastation they experienced. “Loan recovery is the hallmark of any credit process and the combination of this input distribution flagoff with loan recovery drive further demonstrates that this is a sustainable credit programme,” he said. In his opening remark, RIFAN President, Alhaji Muhammad Goronyo, commended CBN for its numerous support




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