Central Bank of Nigeria said on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital that 50kg bag rice now sells for N8, 000 in Ebonyi State.
Mr Isaac Okoroafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, disclosed this while speaking at a sensitization workshop for the CBN Anchor programme for farmers in Yenagoa.
He said: “We should eat Nigerian rice provided for by the CBN Anchor Programme; 50 Kg of local rice is now N8, 000 in Ebonyi.
Already, the Abia Government has ordered rice from Ebonyi for Christmas,”
Speaking about the Anchor Borrowers Programme, he noted that the programme has promoted Agriculture in the country and by 2017, Nigeria will begin exportation of rice.
Okoroafor went ahead to congratulate farmers in Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Sokoto and Cross River States, among others, who have already started the Anchor programme for the massive rice cultivation.
He said the country would achieve self-sustenance in rice production if the momentum was sustained, adding that the country should commence exportation of locally produced rice by 2017.
Okorafor said Kebbi State had already harvested one million tons of rice, adding that Ebonyi’s harvest had outstripped the earmarked production for the year.
“The development is encouraging and by the end of 2017, we will not only meet our national demand which is between six and seven million tons but have surplus to export.
“We must rid ourselves of eating foreign rice that has been stored for over nine years in Thailand, Vietnam and India. Nigerian rice is fresh and healthier.
“What we have done with this programme so far is to create jobs through farming, especially for the unemployed youths.
“Nigerian youths must wake up, dust themselves up and join this worthy campaign.
“Remember that the status of our farmers is now better due to the support they are receiving as a result of government’s policy. Our currency is weak because we engaged in needless importation of all kinds of food stuffs, including tooth picks; the government is determined to stop this.
Mr. Oke Nwajah, The Branch Controller, CBN, Yenagoa, who acknowledged that the state was blessed with rich wet soil for rice cultivation, urged other farmers to partake in the ongoing Anchor Borrowers Programme sponspored by the CBN to help reduce their burden.