Menu Close

RIFAN assures of sufficiency, discounted price as Buhari launches mega rice pyramids

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and Other Dignitaries at the Unveiling of Mega Rice Pyramids in Abuja, FCT Photo: The Cable

*Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria says the Abuja mega paddy rice pyramids were planted and harvested from states across the Nigerian Federation under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme

*The good news is that rice will remain the cheapest commodity for consumers as far as food is concerned due to the success recorded through the ABP scheme ─Chairman, RIFAN Pyramid Sub-Committee

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday, January 18, 2022, unveiled the mega rice paddy pyramids, numbering a million stacked as 15 separate pyramids in Abuja, the country’s Federal Capital Territory.

ConsumerConnect reports the huge rice pyramids, considered as the biggest of its type on the African continent, are located on the grounds of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) along the Airport Road in the FCT.

President Buhari (2nd left), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN; and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State during the event in Abuja 

The mega rice pyramids at the ACCI, which President Buhari launched Tuesday, is a joint agribusiness project between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) under the former’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) for smallholder farmers (SHFs) in the country.

According to RIFAN, the bags of rice were planted and harvested from states across the Nigerian Federation under the CBN’s ABP.

Dignitaries at the event Tuesday include Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN; Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, President of RIFAN; Governor (Dr.) Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; and his Kebbi counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.

Among other importamt personalities on the occasion are Governors David Umahi (Ebonyi State); Ben Ayade (Cross River State); Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa State); Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Buhari; and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, business tycoon and Predient/CEO of Dangote Group.

Earlier, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) at the weekend had indicated plans had been concluded to launch a million bags of paddy rice stacked as pyramids January 18, in Abuja.

Local food production, nutrition sufficiency possible in Nigeria: RIFAN chief

In regard to the latest feat recorded in the agricultural sector of the country’s economy, Mr. Shehu Muazu, Chairman of Pyramid Sub Committee of RIFAN, stated that the huge rice pyramids, stacked in 15 separate pyramids, would show that local production of the staple food item is possible in the West African country.

Muazu disclosed shortly after President Buhari’s unveiling of the pyramids in Abuja, the CBN and RIFAN will allocate the rice paddy to the processors, agency report said.

The Chairman of Pyramid Sub Committee stated: “RIFAN in collaboration with the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria will process the rice and sell at a discounted price.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, addresses the audience at the event

“This will lead to a drastic reduction in price once it starts rolling into the market.

“Our collaboration with the millers association rests on the agreement that they will sell at a discounted price to Nigerians.”

He also said: “Although, we cannot talk of price in isolation as far as prices all over the world are concerned because all over the world prices of food have gone up.

“The good news is that rice will remain the cheapest commodity as far as food is concerned due to the success recorded through the scheme.”

CBN’s ABP scheme assists small-holder farmers to build rice pyramids

ConsumerConnect also gathered that the building of the paddy rice pyramids at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), along the Airport Road started mid-December 2021, and the location has been a centre of attraction for many passers-by.

Despite rife insecurity with attendant social dislocations in several places around the country, the stakeholders had built the massive rice pyramids with a million bags of rice paddy planted and harvested from states across the Nigerian Federation under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.

Aminu Goronyo, President of RIFAN (holding mike), explains some points on local rice brands to President Buhari and other dignitaries on the occasion

The RIFAN Chairman of Pyramid Sub-Committee further said that the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) designed to assist Nigerian small-scale farmers is a testament to the Federal Government’s efforts at addressing food security in the country.

Muazu stated: “We have over one million bags of paddy rice which were collected from the beneficiaries of the ABP under the business strategy partnership.

“Benefiting farmers who received the loan, which came in the form of farm inputs and cash, repay with rice paddy of the same value.”

He added: “The significance of these rice pyramids is to showcase the achievement of government as far as agriculture is concerned and to call on Nigerian corporations to queue into investments in agriculture.

“If the poor Nigerian farmers can do this, then the rich people can do more than this.”

Similarly, Mr. Njack Kane, RIFAN Africa partner, in his remarks applauded the Federal Government for protecting local rice producers by banning rice importation and setting measures against smuggling in Nigeria, report stated.

Kane said: “The Federal Government has taken a very critical decision which is to put protection mechanisms on the local producers of rice and the ban on importation of rice.

“And more recently it has put measures in place to fight to smuggle so that locally-produced rice can thrive.”

The RIFAN Africa partner also noted that “Nigeria is one of the successful game-changers in massive rice production. This laudable initiative will set a revolution in Africa agricultural sector.”

It is should be noted that under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, a million bags of rice paddy gathered from states around the country to construct the rice pyramids were from rice farmers asked to return the bags of rice paddy that made up the pyramids in exchange for cash in order to repay the loans they had earlier received under the scheme, a report said.

Launched 2015, the CBN’s ABP was activated with the goal of providing support to  farmers and influencing the value chain of various agricultural commodities in the West African country.

Kindly Share This Story

 

Kindly share this story