From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The Nigerian government is confident that through agriculture, the wealth of the citizens could be boosted.
This is submission of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele while in an interview with the journalists in Lagos.
Emefiele who noted that the most successful countries of the world which could boast of employment opportunities and consistent economic growth started with agriculture.
“We are battling with unemployment in Nigeria, and that is the reason again the President called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the CBN, Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity, and some important stakeholders including the governors together and said there was a need to start thinking about how to create jobs for our people through agriculture; that agric should not be seen as business that is meant for the poor? that you could make money from agriculture. Countries that have progressed have done so because they took the agric sector very seriously, he assured.
He noted that in a bid to make agriculture attractive, the Federal Government introduced the Anchor Borrowers Programme, adding that with the arrival of the programme, many farmers started recording high yield.
“We are determined to make agric the sector where people make money and we have decided to put in place the Anchor Borrowers Programme. Before we introduced the ABP, farmers would go into rice farming and all the yield they were getting was one to 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
After we started the ABP, today we are beginning to see farmers getting yield as high as eight metric tonnes per hectare, reducing their costs and making it possible to make good profit in rice cultivation.
And that is the journey we are embarking on. We want to invite all of you, our friends and foreign investor friends; I heard the President of the Corporate Council for Africa say that some foreign investors are interested in agriculture in Nigeria. We welcome them. Come, Nigeria will receive you”, he said