The Kebbi State chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has unveiled rice pyramids as a nod to the federal government’s success in food security and economic prosperity over the last five years through the Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP).
The unveiling of the sky-high pyramids in Zauro served to commemorate the annual National Rice Festival, as well as to flag off input distribution for the 2020-21 dry season under the ABP, facilitated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the RIFAN.
At the event, RIFAN National President Aminu Goronyo recognized President Muhammadu Buhari for his vision of a self-sufficient nation that eats what it produces and produces what it eats, adding that Nigeria is no longer solely dependent on polluted rice imports.
In his remarks, Kebbi State Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu pointed out that the government’s investments in the ABP had not only brought succor to the country in terms of food security and diversification, but had also successfully helped it to exit a recession.
“This is a great testament to the happy journey so far in spite of the devastating effects of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the economy, flood disasters and other issues. Our hard working populace has been supported by good economic policies by President Muhammadu Buhari, institutions such as the CBN, other agencies and other commercial banks,” Bagudu said.
Meanwhile, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele noted that within the last five years, the ABP had financed a total of 2,923,937 farmers, cultivating 21 commodities across 3,647,643 hectares, through 23 participating financial institutions in the federation’s 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.
He added that Kebbi has been central to the ABP and that the apex bank, under the 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, had financed 221,450 farmers in 32 states for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares.