President Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, state governors, ministers, rice farmers, and other players in the rice value chain have expressed delight that local production has increased from 5.4 million metric tons in 2015 to more than 9 million metric tons in 2021, thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
They also applauded smallholder farmers’ per-hectare production, which has risen dramatically from roughly 2.4 metric tons per hectare in 2015 to around 5 metric tons per ha in 2021.
The President noted that the production expansions have not only made Nigeria the largest rice producer in Africa, but have also unlocked enormous private sector investment in the rice value chain, with the number of Integrated Rice Mills soaring from six in 2015 to more than 50 in 2021, with many more in various stages of completion.
According to Buhari “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has so far supported over 4.8 million smallholder farmers across Nigeria for the production of 23 agricultural commodities, such as maize, rice, oil palm, cocoa, cotton, cassava, tomato, livestock, among others.
“Before my administration launched the ABP, there were only 15 standard rice mills in Nigeria. As at today, we have over 50 standard and integrated rice mills in Nigeria, creating jobs and reducing unemployment in Nigeria. We expect additional significant output when the two new mills are established in Lagos and Katsina. I am also aware that, because of the large margins in this business, more people are showing interest in investing in our agribusiness.
“The ABP is working. Indeed, these sky-high pyramids for which we are gathered here to commission are part of our commitment at achieving national food security and economic diversification through home-grown policies targeted at securing food for all Nigerians,” he added.