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CBN, RIFAN begins sale of paddy to millers

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[FILES] Rice Farmers

• AbdulRazaq says apex bank’s agric policy tallies with Kwara’s
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) have flagged off the sale of nine million metric tonnes of paddy to millers. They were also distributing implements, fertilisers and other inputs to rice farmers for the 2021 wet season farming.

Speaking at the event in Kaduna yesterday, RIFAN President, Aminu Goronyo, said with nine million metric tonnes of annual rice production, Nigeria is would be self-sufficient in rice and almost ready for exportation.

He, however, said the feat was achievable with the courage, commitment and patriotism of rice farmers who remained in the farm despite the security challenges in the country.

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Goronyo said the flag-off was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, through the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to stop rising prices of foodstuff.

The RIFAN president disclosed that the sales of the paddy to millers in 16 states of the federation was at a subsidised rate of N190 per kilogramme, to enable them mill and sell to consumers at affordable prices.

The CBN governor, who was represented by the Kaduna Branch Controller, Ahmad Wali, said the apex had been supporting a lot of agricultural initiatives to boost food production in Nigeria.
SIMILARLY, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has said that the CBN’s various policies to crash the high costs of food items in the country tally with his administration’s vision of supporting farmers to ensure food sufficiency.

Represented by his Technical Assistant on Agriculture, Abdulganiyu Olododo, the governor pointed out that improved seedlings had been flagged off for the benefit of farmers in the state.

Emefiele, represented by Dr. Olabitan Adebowale of the Development Finance Department of CBN, said yesterday in Tsonga, Kwara State, that the bank would continue to pump funds into the agriculture sector to moderate prices of food items in the market towards ensuring effective Price Control Mechanism.

Appealing to rice farmers to ensure repayment of loans granted them under different initiatives, described loan repayment as a key component of the lifeline policies, just as he stated that the development would ensure the sustainability of the programme.

The state’s coordinator of RIFAN, Ahmed Sa’ba, said the Federal Government’s intervention with loans to farmers had improved rice production locally, saying that more than 300,000 metric tonnes of rice were produced in the state during the last dry season farming exercise.

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