Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

Food Security: CBN, RIFAN partner to reduce cost of rice for consumers

*Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank Nigeria, has emphasised the reduction of price of the staple food item is for the benefit of consumers in Nigeria and beyond as it assures of finance for agriculture in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the economic recovery efforts of the Federal Government, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) agreed to partner with the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) to reduce the market price of rice and ensure food security in the country.

ConsumerConnect gathered Malam Idris Usman, Coordinator of RIFAN and CBN Special Project in Niger State, disclosed this in Bida, Niger State, recently at the inauguration of the 2021 wet season distribution and sale of paddy rice to farmers.

Malam Usman said the measure was geared towards economic recovery efforts of the Federal Government.

Nigeria Rice as evidence of success of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP)   Photo: CBN

The RIFAN-CBN special project Coordinator stated: “We have set up our machinery to checkmate prices of rice in the market.

“We are going to agree with the CBN on what should be the result of whatever will be the price of rice for consumers in the market.”

Usman also said: “Here, we want to assure you that we will uphold that any miller who has benefitted from this recovery and sells a kobo above the price that we have agreed upon will be prosecuted.

“Today, under the directive of the CBN, we have inaugurated a committee for the recovered paddy rice from the rice millers to be able to drastically review the cost of rice in the market.”

According to him, in Niger State, 32,000 rice farmers had been engaged to cultivate 50,000 hectares of land with inputs through the support of the Federal Government and the CBN.

About 10 percent of the paddy rice had been recovered from the farmers in the state, stated he.

Usman as well announced that many farmers got their inputs on time, and there was no need not to return the 15 to 20 percent paddy rice (nine bags of paddy rice) as agreed.

However, he noted that the 2020 farming season witnessed some challenges as some complained of cultivating with bad seeds.

“We have forwarded their complaints to the appropriate authorities. Henceforth, I don’t think we will give seeds that are not genuine or that are not good to farmers.

“If the seeds are not good, no amount of input will bring out any good yields from the farmers,” the RIFAN-CBN Special Project Coordinator noted.

For the 2021 wet season farming, he stated, 42,000 rice farmers had been captured to cultivate between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares of land in the state.

He warned that all farmers that had not fully paid back the paddy rice as the rules stipulated would not be considered for this forthcoming wet season distribution of hybrid seeds and inputs.

He explained that “it is a loan and not a palliative. You cannot add loans upon loans; you have got to recover fully part of what you got before you can get a new cycle of it.”

Usman said there were about 28,000 bags of paddy rice recovered which would be sold out to both local and national rice millers.

CBN commissions sale of 9 million tonnes of rice paddy in Kaduna

The Central Bank of Nigeria also has expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to crash the price of rice in the country.

It was learnt Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, who stated in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, during the flag-off of nine million tonnes of rice, said that the reduction of the price is for the benefit of the common man in Nigeria and beyond.

The CBN and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria have flagged off sales of nine million tonnes of subsidised rice paddy to millers in order to make lives bearable for Nigerian consumers.

While flagging off the sales and commencement of the wet season farming in Kaduna, the Governor of CBN, represented by Ahmed Mohammed of Kaduna Branch of CBN, said that the Bankers’ Bank is ever ready to finance agriculture in the country, report stated.

Emefiele disclosed that the programme is aimed at selling rice to the millers and processors at a subsidised rate with the intention of reducing the price for the benefit of a common man in Nigeria and beyond.

“This programme is a nationwide programme with an intention to provide food on a common man’s table; that is why Central Bank is always ready to ensure there are funds for farmers.”

Meanwhile, as Nigerians will be able to buy rice at cheaper prices, Chika Nwaja, representative of the CBN Director of Development Finance of the CBN, has said that the Bank has the intention to remove the issue of middlemen from the sales of rice to processors for Nigerian consumers to buy at cheaper prices in the markets.

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