Following the closure of the Nigerian land borders, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has stated that the nation is recording major achievements in rice and poultry production.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the disclosure while addressing State House Correspondents, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
According to Emefiele, the demand for local rice and poultry products has increased tremendously, as a result of the border closure policy. He said that rice and poultry farmers have had a different narrative as they have amassed a lot of profit, resulting in a boost in the country’s economy.
In his remarks, “Since President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank and some state governors launched the Wet Farming Season in Kebbi State back in November 2015, we have seen an astronomical growth in the number of farmers who have been going into rice farming and our paddy production has gone up also quite exponentially.
“Between 2015 and now, we have also seen an astronomical rise in the number of companies, corporate and individuals that are setting up mills, integrated mills and even small mills in the various areas.
Emefiele who described the level of smuggling into the country as a major constraint on rice production and the economy noted that local producers have found it challenging selling their produce, due to the trend.
The CBN Governor said, “A week after the borders were closed, the rice millers’ association called to tell us that they had sold all the rice in their warehouses and the Poultry Associations have also sold their eggs, processed chickens and demand is rising.
He further stated that the CBN and the Ministry of Agriculture have been at the center of the growth in the local production of rice. He said the bank alongside the ministry has been encouraging rice farmers by giving them loans and inputs needed to boost the production of rice in the country.