The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated its readiness to make cheap funding available to farmers in the country to procure agricultural processing equipment.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who equally said CBN would soon shift from financing primary agriculture to processing, declared that the apex bank was ready to support ideas and concepts capable of growing the agricultural sector of Nigeria.
The CBN governor spoke at the launch of Ogun State Mitros Ofada Rice, in Abeokuta. The rice products are packaged in 50kg, 25kg, 10kg, 5kg and 1kg.
The event was attended by the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production, and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, top government functionaries, farmers’ associations, traditional rulers and representatives of financial institutions.
Emefiele, who noted that agriculture remained the best way to grow Nigeria’s economy, provide food and jobs, also lauded Ogun State for actualising President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s vision to make Nigeria food sufficient. He noted further that the production of rice by Ogun State would help the country in reducing foreign exchange spending on rice import, urging the government to venture into other food commodities with a view to helping Nigeria eat what it grows.
“I am extremely delighted to witness this giant stride of Governor Amosun. 12 months ago, myself, Kebbi State governor and the Minister of Agriculture, as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to revive agricultural commodities, visited Ogun. We saw farmlands, rice plantations, fish ponds, and the governor promised us that we would soon be invited to see the strides of the state in agriculture.
“I think Ogun State government and the people deserve commendation, as the state continues to demonstrate support for the Federal Government’s efforts to create jobs, and grow the economy. Any nation that is not serious with agriculture is doomed. CBN will continue to support anybody who wants to grow the agriculture sector. This step by Ogun State will help in stemming the demands for forex to import rice and we will eat what we grow.
“We presently focus on primary agriculture; we will soon shift focus on the processing. We are ready to provide cheap funding at not more than 5 per cent rate, to support those who want to procure farm processing equipment such as threshers, planters, harvesters and so on.