Nigeria now produces over 7.5million metric tons of rice annually: Buhari The Informant247

Nigeria now produces over 7.5million metric tons of rice annually: Buhari

…unveils mega rice pyramid in Abuja

By Matthew Denis, Abuja

In a bid to boost foods security, President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that rice production in Nigeria has increased to over 7.5 Million Metric tons annually.

The President made this disclosure while unveiling 13 pyramids of locally produced rice at the trade fair complex along airport road in Abuja on Tuesday

He said, “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has so far supported over 4.8 million smallholder farmers across Nigeria for the production of 23 agricultural commodities including maize, rice, oil palm, cocoa, cotton, cassava, tomato and livestock.

“Today rice production in Nigeria has increased to over 7.5 Million Metric tons annually. Prior to the introduction of ABP, the average production in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015 was less than 4 metric tons annually.

“I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, which leads 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.”

Buhari expressed delight at the current administration’s diversification programme, stressing that agriculture has started yielding dividends for the country.

According to him, the significance of today’s occasion can be better understood by looking at the various economic strides the administration has achieved through agriculture.

He said, “When we assumed the reins of leadership of this country in 2015, the administration identified the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme as an essential policy instrument for achieving economic diversification through agriculture.

”To achieve this, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme was designed to encourage investments in agriculture and empower smallholder farmers as drivers of transformation in the sector and as critical enablers of economic growth.

“I am indeed delighted that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme continues to receive commendations, since its introduction six years ago, as it has become one of the reference points in the administration’s agricultural revolution effort.”

The president furthered, “In fact, the Programme speaks loudly in its giant strides as it has increased access to finance by our rural farmers, who before now were virtually excluded from the financial system.”

He noted that through the agriculture revolution programme, the country has been able to conserve foreign exchange as well as address the problem of unemployment.

“Before this administration launched the ABP, there were only 15 standard Rice mills in Nigeria. As of today, we have over 50 Standard and integrated Rice mills creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

“We expect additional significant output when two new mills are started in Lagos and Katsina. I am also aware that because of the large margins in this business, more people are showing interest in investing in our agribusiness.

“Fellow Nigerians, our gathering here today, is no doubt a testament to the fact that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is working. Indeed, these sky-high pyramids for which we are gathered here to commission are part of our commitment at achieving national food security and economic diversification through home-grown policies targeted at securing food for all Nigerians.

“As a critical policy of the government, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is expected to catalyse the agricultural productive base of the nation, which is a major part of our economic plan to uplift the economy, create jobs, reduce reliance on imported food and industrial raw materials, and conserve foreign exchange,” he explained

The Nigerian leader stressed that the country was already attaining self-sufficiency in rice production, thus boosting food security.

He said, “The commissioning of these rice pyramids today, is an indication that our country is making steady and assured progress towards self-sufficiency in food production, and it is my desired hope and expectation that other agricultural commodity associations that are yet to participate under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme will emulate the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in supporting our administration’s drive for food self-sufficiency.”

The President commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for its recent efforts at resuscitating the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, which would help the country’s farmers to have ready buyers of their produce

For his part, the Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo, thanked President Buhari for initiating the agriculture revolution programme, saying it has translated into wealth for farmers across the country.

Goronyo commended the president for keeping the promise he made to Nigerians.

He noted that the rice pyramids unveiled by the President were the largest in the world.

Goronyo said, “Mr President, you can see your hand work. It is a statement you made during your campaign and it is fulfilled. You said you will pay more attention to agriculture and it has happened. It is not a surprise at all. You promised Nigerians that you will expand the scope of agriculture if elected and you have done that.

“What you see here today is a trickle of what we produced in the last wet season. Only 0.05 percent of what was cultivated is what is being displayed.

“You have come at the time Nigeria needs you to lead the country and God knows why he has given you the opportunity to lead us now and Nigerians will continue to appreciate your leadership.

“You have put this country on track. You have helped us attain food security which translates to national security, and the President that succeeds you should pay attention to that too.”

The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, described agriculture as the focal point of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

Emefiele said, “I am particularly delighted because these stacks of rice pyramids provide undisputable and unassailable evidence of significant progress under President Buhari’s food security initiatives and administration. I personally salute your vision of making agriculture a cornerstone and one of the focal points of your administration.”

He praised farmers for taking the courage to go to their farms despite security challenges in some parts of the country.

“The past few years have been quite challenging towards some of the farmers, as they have battled with insurgency, banditry, lockdown and other related setbacks.

“Indeed we lost some of our farmers to insurgency attacks nationwide while some could not access their farms for several months yet, they kept faith, they did not give up, they persevered, and they did not abandon our fight for food self-sufficiency.

“Today’s event therefore, is the celebration of your doggedness and an appreciation of their commitment to food security in Nigeria,” Emefiele stated.

Also speaking, the National President of Rice Miller’s Association of Nigeria, Mr. Peter Dama said rice revolution has come to stay in Nigeria with the President acceptable to provide this platform and it’s successful.

“We’re very hopeful that if this continues we’ll overshoot and proceed further to produce more than what we have today and it will guarantee our foods Security,” he said.

According to him, the Association is working tirelessly to curb the challenges of rice milling activities in the country, thereby calling on teeming rice farmers to join them as they can facilitate credit facilities and ensure availability of milling machines to them.

Dama called on Nigerians to patronise the locally produce rice as it is far more nutritious and directly from the farm for consumption than the imported ones, noting the fact that imported ones are already preserved with chemicals which can be harmful to the body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.