Rice farmers have been given a total of N106.39 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the paddy Aggregate Scheme.
This was revealed in statements from the Monetary Policy Committee by Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
“N6.2 billion was given by the bank to three new projects for buying and consuming of home-grown rice paddy under the Paddy Aggregates Scheme.” He said.
This makes the total money given to 42 Integrated rice farmers under the Paddy Aggregates Scheme (PAS) to be N106.39bn.
The PAS was created to help Integrated Rice Millers and Large Scale Aggregators to buy home-grown rice paddy at a single-digit interest rate to elevate the National Food Security Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Its purpose is to help provide integrated rice millers and large-scale rice paddy Aggregators with credit facilities at a single-digit interest rate to expand local rice production in order to bring about lower price and improving national food security.
The characteristics include; No obligor limit applicable; bullet loan repayment after 12 months for loans that have 12 months tenure; single-digit interest rate at 5 per cent; Applicant must have a functional silo; and 24 months loan tenure.
The CBN governor had earlier advised rice mills to welcome the backward integration initiative of the bank targeted at improving local production capacity, conserving foreign exchange reserves and providing employment.
At the initiation of the Garewa Rice Mill in Kano, Kano state, Emefiele had stated that it was necessary for all rice millers in Nigeria to engage in paddy production to assure sustainable supply of paddy to their mills and also complete the supply from the smallholder farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s partnership with the Rice Farmers Association and prime anchors.
He also stated that the number of rice mills in Nigeria have increased from fewer than ten with a merged capacity of less than 350,000 metric tons, previous to the Anchor Borrower’s programme launched in 2015, to over 60 integrated rice mills, with a merged capacity of about three million metric tons as at January 2022, with about 10 more mills planned to be commissioned later this year.