The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) on Tuesday said Nigeria had hit annual production of 8 million metric tonnes of rice production, with a target of 18 million metric tonnes by 2023.
Aminu Goronyo, President of the association who disclosed this in an interview with Journalists in Abuja said that this was contrary to the speculation that Nigeria is currently producing a little above 4 million metric tonnes.
“The production as of today by RIFAN and other relevant agencies record is 8 million metric tonnes, even Kebbi alone has hit almost 2 mullion metric tonnes if not for the last flood that devastated the farms.
“It has been established by relevant agencies that Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in Africa as the population of rice farmers in the country has also risen.
“With the ever increasing population and the total ban on rice importation RIFAN is targeting 18 million tonnes by 2023,’’ he said.
Goronyo said the feat was achieved with the disbursement of N40 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (CBN/APB) to over 12.2 million rice farmers.
`In 2018/2019 Wet-season RIFAN/CBN/BOA, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) Farming Model in Kebbi and Adamawa states has 26,000 rice farmers, out of the 10 million farmers from 32 states targeted for the project benefited from the pilot project, under the first phase of the programme, 6,800 hectares of land were cultivated at the cost of N203,000 per hectare.
“It is a cashless project that provides farmers with the needed farm inputs, which comprise improved seedlings, water pumps, chemicals and other services like land preparations also under the project, mechanised services was also be made available to farmers,’’ he added.