President Muhammadu Buhari has launched rice pyramids in Abuja to signify the success of his administration’s food security, especially the rice production policy.
The one million bags of paddy rice,considered to be the biggest of its type in Africa, were located on the grounds of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Airport Road.
The one million rice paddy stacked in 15 separate pyramids at the ACCI is in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria.
The bags of rice were planted and harvested from states across the country under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
President Buhari was full of commendation for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for Initiating the Anchor Borrowers Programme, through which the massive rice production was achieved.
The president expressed confidence that goverment’s food security agenda would drive down prices of food items in the country.
From a National paddy rice production of about 4.5 tons per annum before the ABP initiative in 2015, paddy rice production rose to over 9 million tons by last year.
Emefiele said as at the end of December 2021, his team had financed 4.5 million farmers that cultivated 5.3 million hectares across 21 commodities through 23 Participating Financial Institutions in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT.
Five State Governors, including Ekiti’s Dr Kayode Fayemi; Kebbi’s Atiku Bagudu; Cross River’s Professor Ben Ayade; Ebonyi’s David Umayi and that of Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru were in attendance.
Under the apex bank’s ABP, one million bags of rice paddy were planted and gathered from states around the country to construct the rice pyramids.
Farmers were then asked to return the bags of rice paddy that made up the pyramids in exchange for cash in order to repay the loans they received under the scheme.
The CBN’s farm loan initiative started in November 2015 with the goal of providing aid to farmers and influencing the value chain of various commodities in Nigeria.