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How Kebbi State Revolutionised Rice Farming In Nigeria


Although Kebbi State has originally been a farming community, especially in rice production, however, the state came to limelight with its potentials in rice production realised at the advent of President Buhari and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu”s administration, three years back in November 2015.

This happened when massive rice production was launched in the state by the federal government aimed at making the country self-sufficient in rice production through the, “Anchor Borrowers’ Program”.

The Anchor Borrowers’ program is a loan initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to over 70,000 rice farmers in the state. It is a tripartite arrangement between the federal, state and rice millers who are the uptakers.

Under the Anchor Borrowers’ loan scheme, the CBN has expended over 15 billion naira in providing cash and farming inputs to farmers such as improved rice seeds, fertilizer, watering machine and herbicides. Part of the initiative of the program was also to stop the massive importation of foreign rice into the country, which so far, it has achieved and saved the country’s hard earned foreign earnings.

According to the minister of agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, Kebbi’s rice revolution has helped the country, not only to save its foreign currency, but also to cut down importation of foreign rice into the country to about 80 to 90 per cent. Rice production has also helped to boost the economy of the state significantly.

The commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Ibrahim Augie, while briefing the media on the activities of his ministry, opined that, “Since the inception of this administration in 2015, Kebbi government generates over 6 billion within last two years”, he said.

Kebbi State has vast potentials in the production of rice, over 80 per cent of Kebbi people are farming communities that engage in cultivation of crops, particularly rice for domestic use and commercial purpose. The state has vast, fertile Fadama land, suitable for different types of crop production all year round or for two seasons of rain and dry season. The commonest crop produced by people in the state is rice.

In virtually all the 21 local government areas of the state, rice is produced in large quantities, even before the introduction of CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program, aimed at assisting rice and wheat farmers for increased production by the federal government.

In November 2015, President Buhari was in the state to flag off rice and wheat dry season farming, as well as the CBN ‘Anchor Borrowers’ Programme’, a loan assistance scheme to boost rice production, targeting 70, 000 farmers. This has projected Kebbi State’s potential in food production, especially rice, which has come to limelight since the introduction of CBN ‘Anchor Borrowers’ Program”, which earned the state respect of President Buhari for his diversification agenda as the country faced dwindling oil fortunes at that time and helped the economy out of recession.

 

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