Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor during an inspection tour to rice farms in Itane, Ketar Fulani and Gwadan Gwaji villages in Kebbi State, accompanied by the state’s governor, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu and a representative of the Minister of Agriculture, stated that CBN would support farmers and commercial banks to advance agric development.
Emefiele expressed his delight that a greater part of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), has been achieved and Nigeria would soon meet the target of feeding itself. Alhaji Azeez Musibau Olumuyiwa, who represented the Minister of Agriculture, attributed the result to farmers’ access to good seedlings, pesticides, fertilizer, and support from the state government.
Emefiele further noted that some farmers were yet to register their Bank Verification Number (BVN), urging them to do so to enable them to access the ABP facility which he claimed would be open to everyone.
The objectives of the ABP include; assisting rural smallholder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production level, increasing capacity utilization, creating jobs, reducing poverty, and increasing banks’ financing of the agricultural sector.
Kebbi State Governor who also doubles as the chairman of the National Task Force on Rice and Wheat said the purpose of the tour was to see the impact of the ABP.
He said the bumper harvest recorded in all 31 rice-producing states was due to the political motivation of Buhari-led administration and interventions from both CBN and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. He added that his government was ready to offer paddies to millers on credit while urging federal government should to try providing more silos to farmers.