Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) Godwin Emefiele on Sunday, said that a total of N4.9bn has been provided as loans to rice farmers under its anchor borrower program.
He made this disclosure while touring farmlands in Kebbi State cultivated under the intervention program of the CBN.
The Czar of the apex bank explained that through the intervention programme, a total of 78,581 farmers were mobilized in Kebbi State under the intitiaive, with a total of 570,000 direct jobs created in the process.
Emefiele described the current scarcity of foreign exchange confronting the nation as a blessing in disguise as local production of various essential products are now being given top priority.
According to a statement released of Sunday,
“The Governor stated that the success recorded by the rice farmers in Kebbi state has rekindled hope in the ability of Nigeria to be self sufficient in rice and wheat production.
“He noted that with the sum of N210,000 granted to each farmer, they are able to cultivate a hectre of rice.
“He disclosed that a total of 78,581 farmers were mobilized in Kebbi state under the Anchor Borrowers Programme. The farmers are already looking forward to a total of one million metric tons rice this year.
“The CBN Governor stated that with the disbursement of N4.9bn as loans to the farmers, over N570,000 direct jobs have been created and saved.”
If you must know, the anchor borrower program is designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors, not only to ensure increased agricultural output of rice and wheat, but also close the gap between production and consumption.
Under the programme, the CBN has set aside N40bn out of the N220bn Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund to be given to farmers at single digit interest rate of nine per cent per annum.
Also, smallholder farmers are entitled to loans ranging from N150,000 to N250,000 to assist them in procuring necessary agricultural inputs like seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides, among others, to help boost agricultural outputs and productivity