Nigeria on the path to food sufficiency – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that Nigeria is steadily moving to food sufficiency with the adoption of the Anchor Borrowers’Programme (ABP).
He made this claim in Abuja on Tuesday at the unveiling of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mega Rice Pyramids.
According to him: “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has so far supported over 4.8 million smallholder farmers across Nigeria for the production of 23 agricultural commodities including maize, rice, oil palm, cocoa, cotton, cassava, tomato and livestock”.
The President noted that the road to food sufficiency was further guaranteed by the increase in the number of rice mills in the country.
According to him: “There were only 15 standard Rice mills in Nigeria. As at today, we have over 50 standard and integrated rice mills creating jobs and reducing unemployment.”
He added that additional significant output will be achieved “when two new mills are started 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”.
Giving the performance of the intervention, the President noted: “The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has become one of the reference points in the administration’s agricultural revolution effort”.
Buhari stated that Nigeria “is making steady and assured progress towards self-sufficiency in food production, and it is my desired hope and expectation that other agricultural commodity associations that are yet to participate under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme will emulate the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in supporting our administration’s drive for food self-sufficiency”.
The programme he said “speaks loudly in its giant strides as it has increased access to finance by our rural farmers, who before now were virtually excluded from the financial system”.