Lai Mohammed Says FG’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Has Triggered Rice Revolution



    The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has

    credited the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme with the
    current revolution in rice production across the country.

    According to a  statement signed by his SA, Segun Adeyemi, made available on Monday, the Minister stated this in Jega, Kebbi State, on Sunday while leading a  delegation of over 30 journalists on an inspection of rice farms across the state.

    He said the benefits that have accrued to rice farmers in the
    provision of improved seedling, farm input and extension services have
    led to the increase of yield per hectare from 2.5 to between 10 and 11
    metric tonnes.

    “The difference between then and now is the Anchor Borrowers’
    Programme because with the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the average
    farmer today is assisted in terms of input, agronomic practices and

    “So this system has now taken the burden off the farmer and given him
    what he normally would have gone out to buy or procure. But the
    important thing is that from 2.5 metric tonnes to 10 to 11 metric
    tonnes within the same space, I think is a new revolution,” Alhaji
    Mohammed said.

    He said with 32 states currently covered by the Anchor Borrowers’
    Programme, the Federal Government is determined to turn Nigeria into a
    net exporter of rice in the not distant future.

    “Two years ago, Nigeria used to import 644,000 metric tonnes of rice
    from Thailand. Today, we import less than 20,000 metric tonnes…..
    But I think the most important thing for us in Nigeria is to see that
    officially we have been able to eliminate over 90% of rice importation
    into Nigeria,” the Minister said.

    He said that a new pilot scheme that targets the cultivation of
    200,000 hectares of rice has taken off with 31,000
    farmers being empowered by the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

    Alhaji Mohammed said under the new programme, each hectare of land
    will employ 25 people, thereby creating about 5 million jobs.

    He said that already, the Federal Government has grown the number of
    rice farmers from 5 million two years ago to over 12 million

    The Minister, who hailed the ingenuity of rice farmers in Kebbi State
    in sourcing water by sinking wells to ensure all-year-round farming, said
    the government will continue to support them to excel.

    He also commended the synergy between the Federal and State
    Governments in rice farming, and disclosed that the Federal Government
    plans to embark on an aggressive advocacy for Nigerians to know the
    benefits of consuming locally-produced rice.

    “The rice in Nigerian is safer, more nutritious and healthier than the
    one being imported. The one being imported has been stored for several
    years, perhaps in very bad condition and it is not safe to consume,”
    he said.

    The Kebbi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Garba Mohammed,
    conducted the Minister and his entourage round several rice farms and
    a rice mill in Jega.

    He said the drive for self-sufficiency in rice has caused three rice
    mills to spring up in Jega alone.

    The Commissioner said that in addition, a German non-governmental
    organisation has trained 5,000 women in modern rice processing in
    Kebbi State.


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