From Dauda Iliya
The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has commenced mapping of over 500,000 hecters of farmland for cultivation of rice in the northeast this cropping season.
Northeast Zonal Coordinator, Development Finance Department of the CBN, Mr Mahmood Nyako made this known during a meeting with the leadership of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria RIFAN, Borno state chapter in Maiduguri.
Mr Nyako said the Central Bank engaged some service providers to embark on land mapping to verify availability of land, genuineness of farmers, input distribution as well as extention services for uptimum yield.
The Zonal Coordinator noted that with the relative peace in the region, the Bank is targeting 100,000 hecters for Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Taraba states while Borno was earmarked 20,000 hecters for rice cultivation.
As at now, about 90 -95% of the rice consumed in Nigeria is locally produced, so with this massive production by RIFAN and other sister associations and prime anchors that are coming up under rice, am very sure the price will crash”.
Mr Mahmood Nyako expressed confidence that with the special programme embarked by the Central Bank for the dry and wet season farming, prices of food items would begin to come down.
In their separate remarks, Charman Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria RIFAN Borno state branch, Alhaji Goni Modu and Chairman Input Recovery of the Association, Alhaji Musa Azavuwa said so far, the Association has recovered about 10,000 bags of rice cultivated in the dry season.
They explained with the support of the federal government more that 2,000 farmers have participated in rice farming.
The leadership of RIFAN expressed readiness to achieve federal government target of achieving food sufficiency by the end of the year.