Ambode, Bagudu Launch ‘Lake Rice’ In Lagos

Ambode, Bagudu Launch Lake Rice In LagosThe Lagos state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Kebbi state counterpart, Atiku Bagudu, have launched the locally made rice known as ‘Lake Rice’.

This move according to the governors is to encourage the local production of rice, as well as other staple foods.

Lake rice is a product of the partnership entered earlier this year, Lagos and Kebbi states involving the cultivation of rice and other staple foods.

It was  presented to the public at the state house in Lagos.

Plastic Rice

This is coming in the face of the economic recession, and at a time when the federal government has insisted that Nigeria can no longer sustain the importation of rice, which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

Several talks have been ongoing as to how to create alternatives also as there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag, to over double that amount.

Barely 24 hours ago, the Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians, thereby increasing the risk of consuming poor quality foods, which may pose serious health risks to innocent citizens.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme however, is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

Now with the new initiative by the Lagos and Kebbi state governors, local rice production has received yet another boost.

Customs Discover Bags Of Plastic Rice, Warns Nigerians To Be Vigilant

Customs, Plastic Rice, NigerianThe Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, has uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

According to the Federal Operations Unit ”Zone A” of the service, the smugglers had planned to cash in on the rush for the staple food during the festive season.

Comptroller of the Unit, Mr Haruna Mamudu, told journalists that his men are working to unravel how the products came into the country.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been warned to also be extra vigilant as they purchase consumables ahead of the yuletide.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

Rice Exportation

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the federal government, as well as several economic analysts, suggested a ban on the importation of such products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The government said it can no longer sustain the importation of foreign rice which has continued to hamper the growth and development of the nation’s peasant farmers who are into local production.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

Economic Recession: Bank of Agriculture Disburses N21.5billion to 107,200

Economic Recession: Bank of Agriculture Disburses N21.5billion to 107,200As part of efforts to bring Nigeria out of the current economic recession, Bank of Agriculture, BOA, has given out over N21.5billion to 107,200 farmers nationwide.

This was disclosed by the Zonal Manager, South-West Region, Mrs Idiat Folorunsho at the empowerment programme of the bank of Agriculture held in Osogbo, the state capital of Osun State.

Folorunsho, who stated this during the presentation of cheques to the representatives of hundreds of beneficiaries, who were selected for Ooni Ogunwusi’s Agric-empowerment programme, explained that the dwindling oil revenue has forced a rethink in strategy in favour of agri-business

She noted that BOA has since realized this and has taken necessary steps through deliberate policies and special programmes aimed at galvanizing agriculture and engendering the development of agribusinesses.

Folorunsho further stressed that the bank is always ready to produce young farming entrepreneurs to assist in food production and to make the nation to be self-reliance in all agricultural products.

Under the scheme, Folorunsho said about 40billion Naira has been set aside to serve as a special purpose vehicle to ensure proper implementation of the programme to farmers nationwide.

She further disclosed that under the scheme the most recent one is BOA Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP, which provides some degree of support through the supply of inputs and technical advice to the farmers.

CBN To Ease Access To Funds For SMEs

Godwin-Emefiele-Governor-of-Central-Bank-NigeriaThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to streamline logistics and mechanisms to ease access to funds for the development of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs).

The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who announced the plan on Tuesday, said that of the 220 billion Naira earmarked for the sector in 2014 only about 80 billion Naira had been accessed so far.

He gave the update during the fact finding mission of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodity and Production led by the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu.

Also at the meeting was the Governor of Ogun State, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, who asked for more funds for cooperative societies in the agricultural sector to grow the state’s economy.

Earlier, the task force was taken round some of the farms in the state, where the farmers laid bare their demands, with access to financing topping their list.

The coordinator of Eriwe Fish Farm Village, Professor Olanipekun Alausa, spoke on behalf of some fish farmers in the state before they moved from farm to farm in Ijebu Ode, Kotopo Greenhouse Farm in Abeokuta and Eweje Farm Settlement.

The task force members were conducted round the farms where the CBN governor assured the farmers of easy access to SMEs funds.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, also reeled out some of the plans of the Federal Government for the sector for cooperative societies in the state.

Findings by this task force is expected to form the fulcrum for the extended Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government for the state.

Nigerian Banks Publish List Of Debtors

Nigerian Banks Publish List Of DebtorsCommercial banks have resumed publishing the lists of delinquent debtors including individuals and companies in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directives.

Last year, the CBN ordered banks to publish a list of debtors that failed to meet the deadline in at least three national newspapers each quarter effective from may the 1st 2015.

Delinquent borrowers are expected to get three months to start repayment, while borrowers whose loans remain non-performing after that period will be banned from Nigeria’s foreign-exchange and government bond markets.

CBN Optimistic Anchor Borrowers’ Programme Will Enhance Rice Sufficiency

CBN, anchor borrowers' programme, rice sufficiencyThe Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, says in less than five years, Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production, going by the actions and on-going support of the government to farmers and Nigerians interested in farming.

Mr Emefiele who led the Presidential Task Force on rice and wheat production to Cross River state for an assessment tour, said three billion out of the 26 billion set aside for the anchor borrowers’ programme has been given to Cross River where up to 78,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the rice production programme.

The State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade said Cross River has set aside 18,000 square km of land for rice farming, with 5,800 participating farmers and another 12,000 set to join in the next planting season.

He therefore expressed optimism about the state’s rice yield in the near future.

Although the CBN Chief believes that forex restriction on rice importation will boost Nigeria’s chances of rice sufficiency before 2020, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on rice and wheat, Senator Atiku Bagudu, expects significant sufficiency by 2017.

Nigeria consumes about 6 million metric tonnes of rice per annum but produces less than half of that.

CBN, anchor borrowers' programme, rice sufficiencyThere are currently 40 integrated rice mills in the country, which are expected to process up to 5 metric tonnes of rice per hour.

Meanwhile, the country has 36 silos targeted to store up to 100 million metric tonnes of rice.

Mr Emefiele insists that the nation’s scarce foreign reserve would not be used to import any agricultural product the nation has in abundance.

He emphasised that the bank is set to support anyone ready to farm rice, cassava, palm, and other agricultural products to feed the nation and create export opportunities.

El-Rufai Flags Off Sale of Affordable Fertilizers To Farmers

El-Rufai, affordable fertilizersGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has flagged off the sale of affordable fertilizers to farmers for the 2016 cropping season.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony at Giwa Local Government Area of the state, the Governor explained that his administration had since inception removed subsidy on fertilizer due to the alleged corruption associated with it.

He said that with the subsidy removal, the farmers were buying fertilizers at an affordable price of 4,000 naira per bag through government’s intervention.

The leader of farmers in Giwa Local Government, Garba Shika, complained of challenges being faced by his colleagues participating in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, and wants the state government to intervene.

Speaking to newsmen, Governor El-Rufai gave the assurance that government was assessing the challenges being faced by dry season farmers’ Anchor Borrowers Programme aimed at boosting agriculture and food supply in the state.