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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Our Intervention In Agric Sector Has Reduced Rice Importation – CBN

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that its intervention in the agricultural sector in Nigeria has massively reduced importation of rice from Thailand into the country.

The apex bank explained that since 2014 when Thailand exported 1.3 million metric tons of rice to Nigeria to just 58,000 metric tons at the end of 2021.

This was disclosed by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the unveiling of the FCT mega rice pyramids under the RIFAN-CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

The CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was started in November 2015 to provide aid to farmers and influence the value chain of various commodities in Nigeria. The CBN has carried out interventions aimed at sustaining recovery of output growth and addressing the downside risks to other external and domestic shocks to the economy.

The CBN Governor noted that ABP has also catalyzed the rural economy and has built a sustainable framework for financing smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

According to him, “the Programme has developed an ecosystem among all nodes of the agricultural value chain and these linkages can be better optimized through synergy among all stakeholders.”

“We are delighted that these efforts have yielded fruits in not just increasing the availability of rice, but also in moderating prices, reducing imports and increasing job creation in the country. For example, Thailand alone exported 1.3 million metric tons of rice to Nigeria in 2014.”

The apex bank showed the trend of a reduction of import dependency on staple goods as it uses Thailand as a formidable example. “The ABP was launched in 2015 to curtail these imports, and since then, we have seen incremental reductions in rice imports from Thailand. By 2016, rice imports from Thailand had fallen to only 58,000 metric tons. As of the end of 2021, they only exported 2,160 metric tons to Nigeria, thereby saving us foreign exchange and helping preserve jobs in Nigeria.”

The CBN Governor also identified that Output Productivity per hectare has improved within 6 years, saying,

“Beyond increasing our national output from about 5.4 million metric tons in 2015 to over 9 million metric tons in 2021, we have also significantly improved the productivity per hectare of the smallholder farmer from about 2.4 metric tons per hectare in 2015 to between about 5 metric tons per ha in 2021.”

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