The Chairman, Bauchi Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Dr Yahaya Adamu, said at least 20,000 members had benefited from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrower Programme.
Adamu said this at the ongoing CBN Fair organised to promote financial stability and economic development in Bauchi state.
He said the beneficiaries got farm inputs under the CBN scheme as part of Federal Government’s empowerment programme for farmers in the country.
Adamu said that farmers in the state received inputs, including assorted fertilizers, pesticides, high yield seeds and training on the best methods of rice farming.
“With the anchor borrowers programme, rice farming has been encouraged to bridge the deficit in rice farming in the country.
“Rice farming received a boost across all the states in the country by supplying rice to millers in pyramids.
“Very soon rice farmers will begin to export rice to other countries of the world,” Adamu said.
The RIFAN chairman said under the scheme, rice farmers in the state had migrated from subsistence farming to agribusiness through the rice value chain using large hectares of farmlands.
He commended the federal government for initiating the scheme to support not only RIFAN but all the farmers in the federation.
Mr Osita Nwanisobi, the CBN Fair Team Lead and Director, Corporate Communications, said the fair was to create awareness on promoting financial stability and economic development.
“CBN is building systems to ensure that the country is safe, sound and in line with the best possible financial practices.
“The Bank is ever ready to listen to the people of Nigeria in order to know how best to serve them.
“The aim is to improve the financial base of their businesses, particularly the small and medium-sized businesses,” Nwanisobi said.
He said that CBN was committed to developing financial interest in order to grow the country’s economy through the various intervention programmes.
He urged the participants to intimate the bank on the areas of the intervention that needed to be improved upon for effective service delivery.
Also, Mr Idris Haladu, the CBN Branch Controller, Bauchi, represented by Adamu Mele, Head of Banking, said the fair would provide opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to operate and access facilities.
He gave assurance that the CBN doors remained open for Nigerians, especially SMEs, to access existing interventions.
The participants at the fair included farmers, small business operators, government officials, traders and contractors, among others.