Nigeria Can Produce 7m Tonnes Of Rice Using ABP – Enahoro
The chairman, Kuro Communication Ltd, a CBN accredited trainer on the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Michael Enahoro, has said that Nigeria has the capacity to produce more than 7 million tonnes of rice annually if the programme is taken seriously by all the states governors.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, Enahoro said,“If we do both the dry and wet seasons Nigeria can produce 7 million tonnes annually,” but noted that some governors have not taken the programme seriously which is indirectly affecting the president’s objective of self-sufficient feeding.
“In my view the programme has been a partial success because as at today only 13 states out of the 36 states and the FCT have directly benefited and participated in the programme,” Enahoro said.
He regretted that many state governors are not taking advantage of this very positive, economically engaging programme. He noted that many of the governors do not want to do the hard work it takes for the development of their people. However, while stating that the Anchor Borrowers Programme has created jobs along the agriculture value chain, he disclosed that in the 13 states that had been covered, most of the farmers are now part of mainstream business class.
“They have increased the yields of their farm and their lives have improved to a certain degree and they are now financially independent. I think this is a programme that can benefit the country if handled properly. The president has to push the state governors to get more involved so that we can have about 2 to 3 million Nigerians in all sub-sectors of the agro industry so that the country can be better for it in the long term.
“In those 13 states that we have participated, our firm alone have trained close to 410,000 farmers. Now we are saying that we import 6 million tonnes of rice annually. Of these 410,000 farmers that we have trained, if 80 per cent, which is around 300,000, did rice, and are producing four tonnes per hectare, we will have about 420 tonnes of rice. Then imagine if one million people did this.
“It is sad to see that other states governors have not keyed into this. Nigeria has the capacity to produce more than 7 million tonnes of rice if we do both the dry and wet seasons, but some governors have not taken the programme for what it should be and this is indirectly working against the president’s objective of self-sufficient feeding. I think the political will for governors to push this through in their states is missing and it is one of the things keeping the programme where it is,” Enahoro said.