Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says 2.9 million farmers have cultivated 3.6 million hectares across 21 commodities under the bank’s anchor borrowers’ programme (ABP).
He was speaking on Tuesday, during the flag-off of the 2020 wet season harvest aggregation and 2020 dry season input distribution under the CBN-Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme in Zauro, Kebbi state.
Emefiele said the bank under its 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 States.
“The North-West zone with 85,261 farmers that cultivated 120,218 hectares represented 38.5% in total number of farmers and 54.3% in total number of hectares financed,” he said.
“The rhetoric around neglect of previous years will remain part of our history and the best time to correct those mistakes is now and every stakeholder must contribute their quota to guarantee the realization of these national targets.
“Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns globally have shown that nations only export out of their reserves. Let us start building our own reserves now.”
The event featured the display of pyramids, which were rice harvests brought in by farmers in the state.
Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the ABP, Emefiele said the massive pyramids being launched in Kebbi was a confirmation of the positive outlook of the programme.
He also said the partnership between the CBN, the Kebbi state government and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), was aimed at strategically complementing the economic sustainability plan (ESP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
In his remarks, Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi, commended the CBN for its initiatives which has brought succour to the country in terms of food security, diversification and economic growth.
On his part, Aminu Goronyo, RIFAN president, expressed gratitude to Buhari for his vision that Nigeria must feed herself by producing what she eats and eating what she produces.
The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities.