Food Analysts hail Buhari’s Rice Revolution
Massive pyramids of rice bags were unveiled Tuesday in Abuja the Nigerian capital by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The rice was harvested by farmers who had taken a low interest Central Bank loan aimed at doubling the local production of maize and rice. Nigeria’s reliance on imported rice is now over. The unveiling was attended by the central bank governor , several state governors and other high ranking government officials.
Buhari called on more farmers to help Nigeria. “It is my desired hope and expectation that other agricultural produce commodities will emulate the rice farmers association of Nigeria in supporting our administration drive for food self-sufficiency.” The Nigerian president said.
Godwin Emefiele the CBN governor lauded the tenacity of the Nigerian farmer. “Permit me to commend all our holder farmers and the leadership of their various associations for their diligence, bravery, patriotism and [adaptability],” he said. “The past few years your Excellency has been quite challenging for these people as they have battled with insurgency, banditry, lockdowns and other related setbacks. Indeed, we lost some of our farmers to insurgency attacks nationwide, while some could not access their farms for several months.”
The rice pyramids were reminiscent of the groundnut pyramids of the 50s and 60s when Nigeria was an agricultural power is to be sold by the CBN at subsidised rates to consumers nationwide.
Nigeria banned rice imports in 2015 and local production grew from a modest 4.5 tons to nine tons in 2021.
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