CBN, Niger Govt Partner To Facilitate Livestock, Dairy Production

GOVERNOR, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has expressed  the bank’s readiness o provide a wide  range of agricultural opportunities for the country by assisting State  governments not only in the areas of rice and cassava production but most importantly, in the development of livestock and diary production.

Emefiele,  gave the assurance in an interview shortly after a closed door meeting between the CBN and governor of Niger State, Alhaji  Abubakar Sani Bello, in Abuja.

The CBN governor, explained that, under the livestock and dairy development programme, the apex bank is looking at the possibility of discouraging importation and encouraging the production of milk from different parts of the country beginning with Niger State.

“We intend to hopefully get President Muhammadu Buhari, to come in to launch the first Grazing Reserve that’s going to be resuscitated under the programme that we are putting in place.”

He said funding would be provided by the CBN to the private sector entities, adding that they would be expected to recover their money from the milk that is going to be sourced from the livestock.

“The private sector will work directly with the CBN and the state. They will invest by providing the pastures, seedlings and  the infrastructure that will also guarantee constant supply of water to enhance the production of quality milk.”  Emefiele said.

Also speaking, Niger State Governor, Alhaji  Abubakar Sani Bello, expressed optimism in the ability of the CBN to facilitate the take off of such massive project in the state hilighting  that the CBN has initiated different programmes to promote agriculture in the country.

The governor affirmed that there is no going back on development of grazing reserves in the state because it is the best solution to curtail the Herders/Farmers conflicts and to also develop one of our areas of comparative economic advantage.

“We will develop our grazing reserves where we can keep the herders and provide the infrastructure so that they can get better yield with regards to milk and beef,” he stated.

Bello confirmed that the state government will, in the next three months, flag off its over 30,000 hectares grazing reserve in Bobi, Mariga Local Government Area of the State, saying: “government is also in the process of gazetting seven other grazing reserves in parts of the State.”

“ We have about 20 grazing reserves in the state, only two (Bobi and Girin) have been gazetted  but hopefully, overtime, we will develop others”, he noted.

He stated further  that developing the grazing reserves also provides opportunity to the private sector to invest and put in daily services in the diary and beef production assuring that, shortly, the state will start showcasing that the project is economically viable and can also address conflicts between herders and farmers.

“I think, in the long run we are on the right track and we are getting all the necessary support from the CBN. Hopefully, within the shortest possible time, we’ll see some result”, he noted.

Also , in her contribution, the Deputy Governor of CBN,  Aisha Ahmad Ndanusa explained that the initiative would create job opportunities for entrepreneurs at different levels and encourage economic empowerment, particularly for the women and youths.


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