The President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Aminu Goronyo, has said that the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased capacity of Nigerian farmers towards attaining food security.
Goronyo said on Wednesday in Abuja against the backdrop of the recent unveiling of mega rice pyramids in Abuja by the CBN and RIFAN.
He explained that the intervention programme by the CBN had increased the number of cropping seasons thereby boosting food production.
“Before now we had one cropping season, which was the wet season. Farmers were not cultivating during the dry season.
“But now, with the support of the CBN through the ABP, we can do two dry season farming with one wet season farming, making three,’’ he said.
The RIFAN President explained that the rice on display in the pyramids was appropriated as loan repayment to the CBN by beneficiaries of the ABP.
“The right thing is to hand it over to the CBN that funded the project so that they will sell it to integrated rice millers and small scale rice millers at a subsided rate.
“This will ensure that the final consumer is able to buy rice at an affordable price,’’ he said.
He added that unveiling of the pyramids was an indication that Nigeria is becoming self-sufficient in food production.
“It will build confidence in Nigerians that we can now grow what we eat. We have more than enough to eat that we no longer need foreign rice,’’ he said.