CBN Launches Ekiti Rice Pyramid Programme, targets 12,000 farmers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has flagged off the Rice Pyramid Programme in Ekiti State, which targets no fewer than 12,000 beneficiaries.

Governor of CBN, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, while unveiling the first rice pyramid in the Southwest in Ado Ekiti, said the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) has expanded agriculture production for 21 crops across the States of Nigeria.

The CBN Governor said he understood that there was prohibition of land clearing in the Southwest, saying some governors have accessed N1.5 billion each to undertake such policy in their states.

“Agriculture is profitable today in Nigeria and we will strive to make it profitable for all. We will try to make farm mechanization readily available to our farmers. We are not only doing rice, we are supporting Cocoa, palm tree. Provision of rural access roads is also part of our target.

Emefiele maintained that all efforts must be geared towards making agriculture attractive to the teeming unemployed youths and as well support farmers with loans to help production and processing of their products.

“The sustainability of our current efforts in agricultural production can only be guaranteed if we can attract the youths into agriculture as they remain the future of the Country. They have the talent, energy, enthusiasm, technological adoption capacity and all the right drive to revolutionize agricultural production in Nigeria.

“We must meet them halfway 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. Agriculture offers significant benefits for them and we have put in place several measures to improve access to credit for youths interested in Agriculture under the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS),” he said

In his remarks, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said: “We want to increase rice production in Ekiti from 473,000 metric tonnes annually to 1.5 million metric tones . We are doing this in partnership with JMK. Dangote and Stallion Rice Mills, their plants are already in Ekiti. We are directly producing 12,000 jobs for our farmers, who will in turn provide jobs for another 50,000 persons between now and 2023”.


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