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In a bid to reduce foreign exchange spending on food importation through enhanced funding for agriculture, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved funding for additional rice mills in the country. Meanwhile the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that the federal government may soon stop importation of rice into the country given the increased rice production across the country facilitated by the CBN backed Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
Rice Mill CBN loan The duo spoke in Awka, Anambra State, alongside, Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Bagudu while fielding questions from journalists during inspection tour of the 2,600 hectares rice plantation of Coscharis Farms. The rice plantation is one of the rice projects funded through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the CBN, which is aimed at boosting food production in the country.
Under the programme, the CBN has provided N15.7 billion loan to 76,251 smallholder farmers producing and supplying rice to five private anchors (rice millers) in five states. Emefiele while commending Cocharis Farms, said: ”We started this with him, almost about two years ago when we granted him a N2 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS). With his own resources, he added to it and that is why he is where he is today. Those are the type of things we need to continue to encourage.
And about a month ago, he came to the CBN that we need to
come and see what he has done with the CACS fund we gave to him. “I must say
that I am delighted that he has used the money well. And when he came, he
requested for more money because he wants to have the capacity to produce rice
all-year round, which is three harvests in a year. To do so, he needs
irrigation and he needs his mill.