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CBN refutes claims of regional imbalance in agric interventions, unveils rice pyramid in Ekiti

CBN refutes claims of regional imbalance in agric interventions, unveils rice pyramid in Ekiti
May 18
21:04 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its agricultural intervention programmes are not tilted in favour of certain sections of the country.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor,  said this on Tuesday while unveiling the 2020 wet season harvest aggregation and flag off of the 2021 wet season input distribution in the south-west geo-political zone under the CBN-Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.

According to him, contrary to views held by some individuals and interest groups, the apex bank’s interventions in the ABP were not only about rice production but had expanded to over 21 crops and were evenly spread across the country.

Describing criticisms against the Bank’s effort at boosting agriculture in Nigeria as unfair, he said more than N300 billion had been disbursed to companies operating in the southern part of Nigeria, citing companies and farmers across Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River as major beneficiaries of the bank’s interventions.


Emefiele charged stakeholders in the various crop value chains in the country to continually make consistent and positive strides towards attaining food security, noting that attaining self-sufficiency in food production will not come cheap.

He said the sustainability of Nigeria’s current efforts in agricultural production can only be guaranteed if youths are recruited into agriculture as they remain the future of Nigeria.

“They have the talent, energy, enthusiasm, technological adoption capacity and all the right drive to revolutionize agricultural production in Nigeria,” Emefiele said.


“We must meet them half-way to ensure that we provide the enabling environment to make agriculture attractive to them.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria stands ready to support youths that are willing to engage in agriculture.”

The CBN governor disclosed that a total of 3,107,890 farmers had been financed for the cultivation of 3,801,397 hectares across 21 commodities through 23 participating financial Institutions in the 36 states of the Federation and FCT, from the inception of the programme till date.

He also said that under the 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, the Bank had also financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 States.


Emefiele added that the bank planned a minimum of one million hectares of rice through a combination of RIFAN farmers and prime/private anchors for each planting season in 2021.

In his remark, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, said the support of President Muhammadu Buhari for local rice production, through the CBN’s ABP, had contributed largely to the investments in agriculture, which in turn had contributed to increased rice production and reduction in rice importation.

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