The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the bank shows the need for all stakeholders to sustain current efforts by the bank to galvanise agricultural production to meet the requirements of Nigeria’s growing population.
He said this in Zauro, Kebbi State on Tuesday during the inauguration of the 2020 wet season harvest aggregation and 2020 dry season input distribution under the CBN-Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as part of the fifth anniversary of the ABP.
He noted that 2.92 million farmers cultivating 3.64 million hectares across 21 commodities through 23 participating financial institutions had been financed in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory from inception till date.
These were contained in a statement from the CBN on Tuesday tilted ‘Emefiele charges Nigerians to enhance agric’.
He noted that Nigeria was naturally blessed to meet its food requirement and had no reason to continually repeat the mistake of neglecting agriculture.
Emefiele said, “The rhetoric around neglect of previous years will remain part of our history and the best time to correct those mistakes is now, and every stakeholder must contribute their quota to guarantee the realisation of these national targets.
“COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns globally have shown that nations only export out of their reserves. Let us start building our own reserves now,” he added.
The CBN stated that the inauguration came barely three months after it showcased sky-high pyramids in Minna, Niger State, to highlight its intervention in the maize value chain, and also featured the display of pyramids, which were rice harvests brought in by farmers in the state.
He noted that the ABP, which was an essential part of the Federal Government’s drive for economic diversification had improved the fortunes of rural farmers, transforming agriculture into a potential for economic growth.
According to Emefiele, the ABP, in the past five years, had been characterised by huge successes, learning points and challenges.
He also disclosed that the bank, under the 2020 wet season CBN-RIFAN partnership, financed 221,450 farmers for the cultivation of 221,450 hectares in 32 states.