Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the production of paddy rice had increased from five million tonnes to 17 million tonnes in the last two and half years.
The minister made this known when the Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau visited him in Abuja on Thursday. Ogbeh noted that the country would stop rice importation in the next six months to satisfy local demands. “We can beat our chest a bit, since we came in 2015; we have moved rice production from 5 million tonnes of paddy to 17 million tonnes in two and half years.
“And it is because Mr President led the way and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) joined hands in the Anchor Borrowers Programme and got money to the farmers at nine per cent interest rate. “A total of N43 billion was loaned out to farmers and 293,000 farmers borrowed the money and they produced rice which sold for N193 billion. “You can imagine an investment of N43 billion, yielding N193 billion.