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AAMDA commends CBN, RIFAN as rice production hits over 10m metric tones

The Africa Agricultural Mechanization Development Association (AAMDA) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) for boosting rice…

The Africa Agricultural Mechanization Development Association (AAMDA) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) for boosting rice production in the country through Anchor Borrower Programme.

Rising from its 2021 annual review meeting, the association noted that the programme was a success story, especially in rice production.

The Country Director, Programmes and Partnership of AAMDA, Mr Ogirinye Adoga, who made the assertion, also noted that rice production in the country has moved from about 4million metric tones in 2015 to over 10 million metric tons in 2021.

“Let the truth be told, Anchor Borrower Programme may not have succeeded 100%, but in the rice sector, we have made considerable progress; local production has doubled and that was our saving grace during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

“Check the records and see how many bags of rice were distributed in this country during that period, there was hardly any foreign rice.

“Nigeria could have been doomed and thrown into total hunger if the Anchor Borrower intervention in the rice value chain through RIFAN was not in place,” he said.

Adoga further observed that there was no any shortage of rice during this festive period despite the fact that rice importation was at its lowest level in the history of this country.

This, he said, was an indication that Nigeria was almost ready for rice exportation.

According to the Director, there were several rice mills being established annually in the country and the local production was feeding them substantially, thereby creating jobs for farmers and youths.

“This has revived rural economy and has generally improved the nutritional security of our country,” he said.

He disclosed that the association was finalizing its Rice Value Chain Mechanization project which would be launched in 2022.

“And with adequate mechanization of Rice Value and other premium crops in the country, Nigeria shall become net exporter of Premium food products.

“And that should be the focus of the country; we must sustain what we are doing, correct areas where we have failed or fallen short of expected results and move forward and that is the way to go.

“Again, we thank CBN and RIFAN for the great efforts. We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the revolutionary stride in Agriculture,” he added.

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