Kwara State joined the leading rice producing states in Nigeria with its production of over 102,000 metric tons during the wet and dry season last year.
This was featured in the official document of the Central Bank of Nigeria, celebrating the return of the rice pyramid to Nigeria.
“The North-Central State, which supplied over 40,000 tons of paddy rice to the recently unveiled rice pyramid in Abuja, was not considered a rice-producing state before the administration of President Muhamadu Buhari and of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, but today the state has emerged among the top producers in the country, thanks to the efforts of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in the state,” the CBN report reads.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara State Branch, Dr. Ahmed Saba said that “we felt we had not done enough in our production until until we arrive in Abuja where the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is in charge of the flagship borrower program, has unveiled the data showing that Kwara State has actually done better than we thought, being among the major rice-producing states in the country.
According to Saba, Kwara State produced 62,332 metric tons of paddy rice during the dry season and 40,000 metric tons during the wet season, making a total of 102,332 metric tons.
Congratulating those who made the feat possible, Saba thanked RIFAN President Alhaji Aminu Goronyo and the Central Bank of Nigeria and Kwara State Government for providing an enabling environment and supporting the programme.
“We must commend the Federal Government of Nigeria, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria for initiating a policy that allows farmers to access resources like never before, across the entire value chain from cultivation to harvesting and processing. the sale, especially the Ilorin team, who have immensely supported RIFAN in certain moments of emergency,” he said.
The RIFAN President also commended the Kwara State government for its openness and understanding of ideas, saying that without the enabling environment provided by the state government, nothing tangible could have been achieved.
“Since the emergence of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in Kwara State, the state has aggressively embarked on the presidential administration’s rice revolution and this has seen its rice production increase significantly during the growing season. dry and wet, exceeding many states in the federation.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria recently celebrated the success of its rice production efforts, with the return of the Rice Pyramid to Nigeria’s Federal Capital, Abuja,” he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, while unveiling the FCT Rice Mega Pyramid, noted that “at a time when the country had the preponderance of imported rice in the Nigerian market, with only six functioning integrated rice mills and domestic paddy production approximately 4.5 million metrics”. tonnes, the Nigerian rice industry was unattractive to farmers and millers.
The CBN said: “The gap between demand and supply was bridged by the importation of over 600 billion naira of rice per year, which necessitated the introduction of the Anchor Borrowers scheme in 2015, which has changed the game for financing smallholder farmers.
“The flagship borrower program has created a vibrant ecosystem between all stakeholders, through the provision of in-kind inputs, biometric identification of farms and farmers, extension services, guaranteed markets through well-established purchasing and additional links with agro-processors to ensure the transmission of gains from primary production to other nodes in the value chain.
“Through the provision of quality inputs, good agronomic practices and secure markets for disposal, productivity per hectare has increased to an average of 4 to 5 metric tons, integrated rice mills have increased astronomically to reach more than 50 by 2021, unlocking huge private sector investment in the rice value chain.
“It also led to an increase in domestic production to over 9 million metric tons, from the initial 5 million, an increase of over 80% in the space of 5 years,” CBN said.
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