The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will provide financial support to rice mills to boost paddy production for enhanced rice production in the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclose this at the commissioning of Gerawa Rice Mill Limited in Kano on Tuesday.
“As we increase the milling capacity of rice nationwide, we are encouraging all rice mills to embrace our backward integration programme.
“Get involved in paddy production, to guarantee sustainable supply of paddy to your mills and complement the supply from smallholder farmers through our partnership with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
“The Private Sector led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme provides long term financing option to millers to finance commercial farms, land development, irrigation facilities and other agriculture infrastructure that will enhance the production plan,” Emefiele said.
He revealed that the quality of milled Nigerian rice can match most rice in the world.
“As Nigerians, we need to become more patriotic and embrace Mr. President’s mantra of producing what we eat, and eat what we grow,” he said.
Emefiele noted that prior to the launch of Anchor Borrowers Programme in Nigeria, there were less than 10 functional rice mills with combined capacity of 350,000 metric tons.
“These have increased to over 60 integrated mills with combined capacity of over 3 million metric tons, as at today. With about 10 more mills scheduled to be commissioned this year,” he said.
In his remark, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, said that the state is surrounded by dams and rivers, which gave farmers opportunity of growing rice, tomato and other crops.
He assured that his administration would continue to provide an enabling environment that would boost farming and business activities in the state.
Ganduje revealed that the new rice mill would also assist to create jobs and boost economic base of people in the state.
Also speaking, Governors of Jigawa and Kebbi States, Badaru Abubakar and Atiku Bagudu, respectively, thanked President Muhammad Buhari for introducing the Anchor Borrower Programme to guarantee food security.
In his remark, the Chairman, Gerawa Rice Mill, Alhaji Isa Gerawa, thanked the CBN for supporting him to establish the company.
He said that the mill would also go a long way at ensuring food security in the country.