The Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has warned against neglect of agriculture, and called for efforts to build food reserves.
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Emefiele said neglecting agriculture would be repeating the mistake of the past, adding that with the experience of coronavirus pandemic, boosting agriculture has become very important.
According to him, the experience of covid-19 with lockdowns globaly showed that countries can only export out of their reserves.
The CBN govenor spoke on the occasion of the 2020 wet season harvest and 2021 input distribution under the CBN-Rice Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) fifth anniversary programme.
Emefiele said, “The rhetoric around neglect of previous years will remain part of our history and the best time to correct those mistakes is now and every stakeholder must contribute their quota to guarantee the realisation of these national targets.”
He appealed for support of the apex bank’s measures to boost agricultural production to meet the needs of Nigeria’s growing population.
He disclosed that the target of the CBN and RIFAN was to cultivate one million hectares of rice farms in 2021, which is a 350 percent increase from 221,450 cultivated last year.
He also said 2,923,937 farmers who cultivated 3,647,643 hectares across 21 commodities was made possible by 23 financial institutions who financed them in the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
On its own, the apex bank has financed 221,450 farmers to be able to cultivate 221,450 hectares in 32 states in 2020 wet season, adding that RIFAN participated.
He said that the partnership between the CBN and the Kebbi state government was to complement economic stability plan of the federal government.