Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, announced on Tuesday that the country’s rice production will increase to nine million metric tonnes in 2021, up from about 5.4 million MT in 2015.
Emefiele, who made the announcement at President Muhammadu Buhari’s unveiling of 13 rice pyramids in Abuja, attributed the increase in production to Federal Government interventions in the agricultural sector.
One of these interventions, he claims, is the CBN Anchors Borrower’s Programme, which has created a sustainable framework for financing smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
He also stated that the program had assisted in lowering Nigeria’s import bill from countries such as Thailand.
Emefiele stated, “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has catalyzed the rural economy and established a sustainable framework for rural development.”
“For example, Thailand alone exported 1.3 million metric tons of rice to Nigeria in 2014. The ABP was launched in 2015 to curtail these imports, and since then, we have seen incremental reductions in rice imports from Thailand’s rice i had dropped to 58,000 metric tons by 2016.
They only exported 2,160 metric tons to Nigeria as of the end of 2021, saving us foreign exchange and assisting in the preservation of Nigerian jobs.
At the event, President Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians that better rice prices are on the way.
‘I am aware that the bags of paddy will be transported directly from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, resulting in the release of processed rice to the market.’