President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration has supported over 4.8 million farmers under the Anchor Borrower’s Programme.
The ABP was created by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2015 to aggressively pursue food sufficiency and diversify the Nigerian economy.
Since the commencement of the programme, Nigeria has cut rice importation from Thailand by over 1.23 million Metric Tonnes.
President Buhari said on Tuesday at the unveiling of the Federal Capital Territory mega rice pyramid under the Anchor Borrowers Programme that the ABP has become a reference point for his administration’s agricultural revolution effort.
The CBN has committed over N1trn to the APB, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said.
“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,” Buhari said.
He added, “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.”
The President attributed the rise in rice production to over 7.5 million metric tons annually to the ABP.
He said, “I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across nigeria, which will lead 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.
“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.”