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FLAGGING OFF 0F EKITI RICE PYRAMID PROJECT

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Page 1 of 6
Text of the Address delivered by
His Excellency
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria
on the o...
Page 2 of 6
$1.65 Billion. The present policy of support for local rice production
by President Buhari has contributed imm...
Page 3 of 6
• Easy access to rice farmers;
• Economies of scale as large clusters of farmers are enlisted into the
program...
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FLAGGING OFF 0F EKITI RICE PYRAMID PROJECT

  1. 1. Page 1 of 6 Text of the Address delivered by His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria on the occasion of the FLAGGING OFF 0F EKITI RICE PYRAMID PROJECT at Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Tuesday, May 18, 2021 Protocols 1. Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. I am glad to welcome you all to the Land of Honour on this auspicious occasion. I am particularly delighted to welcome my brother Governors from Jigawa, Kebbi, Ondo and Osun State and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. 2. This occasion is in line with the vision of our administration in Ekiti State at ensuring accelerated development of agriculture which is the mainstay of Ekiti people and a major effort at keying into President Muhammadu Buhari’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda. As a largely Agrarian State in Nigeria, we are investing in extensive commercial agriculture, focussing on rice, cassava, cocoa, oil-palm and yam tubers. 3. Rice has become the most consumed staple in Nigeria. In the year 2018 alone, Nigeria imported 0.58 trillion worth of rice valued at
  2. 2. Page 2 of 6 $1.65 Billion. The present policy of support for local rice production by President Buhari has contributed immensely to food security in Nigeria. Considering the huge market and high population of Nigeria with the urgent need to eradicate poverty, it has successfully demonstrated the need to look inwards by taking advantage of the available fertile land, perennial river bodies and human resources for the production of rice. 4. One of the policies of the Federal Government towards encouraging agriculture is the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme. The program was introduced on November 17, 2015 to enhance rice production. The first two (2) years of the program (2015 to 2017) recorded significant increase in rice production with resultant decrease in Rice importation. For instance, rice importation from Thailand fell from 644,131 metric tonnes in September 2015 to 20,000 metric tonnes in September 2017, which accounts for a drop of over 90%. 5. The success so far recorded was made possible because of the Anchor borrowers program introduced by the Federal government in conjunction with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) that has not only improved rice production but has also enhanced the quality through de-stoning. It has also seen the increase in the number of local rice mills. 6. Federal Government disbursed money to the Anchor and in conjunction with the participating States, for land clearing, provision of seeds for planting, inputs such as knapsack sprayers, tube wells, pumping machines, ploughs, combined harvesters, rice milling machines and production lines, packaging were also provided. Funds provided at low interest made possible: -
  3. 3. Page 3 of 6 • Easy access to rice farmers; • Economies of scale as large clusters of farmers are enlisted into the programme; • Enhanced the rice value chain in the form of finance to primary producers to Processors – Handlers – Wholesalers – Storage – Marketing (Branding) – Export; • Improvement in farmers’ fortunes; • Employment generation; • Food sufficiency, thereby banishing poverty and insecurity; • Generation of revenue as farmers will now pay taxes; • Diversification of Ekiti State economy; • Improvement in the economy as naira gains value. 7. This ease of production of rice -the most valued staple in Nigeria- has been successfully practiced and celebrated in some states like Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Niger, Kwara, Ebonyi etc. It is gratifying that today, Ekiti State is now joining the train as a participant in the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the CBN, in partnership with the National body of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria led by Alhaji Goronyo. 8. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Ekiti state is undoubtedly blessed with undulating terrains, perennial streams, watershed and transboundary rivers which have been instrumental in all-round year production of crops to meet the nutritional requirement of Ekiti State dwellers. 9. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Ekiti people. It is therefore not by happenstance that Agriculture and Rural Development is one of the key pillars of our government’s governance sagenda. Upon assumption of office on October 16, 2018, in our quest
  4. 4. Page 4 of 6 to provide food security for our people, we made deliberate efforts geared toward changing Agriculture in Ekiti State from mere subsistence agriculture to lucrative agribusiness. 10. As a responsive and responsible government, we encourage and mobilize our farmers to take full advantage of and participate in the CBN Rice Anchor Borrowers Programme to: i. Develop a vibrant rice program value chain that will attract investments for locally produced rice; ii. Raise rice production level from the current 347,000 MT to 1.5 million metric tonnes per year in Ekiti in order to feed enough paddy rice to the three (3) rice mills that are coming up in Ekiti State - Jumlar Rice Mill (JMK Foods), Dangote Rice Mill and Stallion Rice Mill. Jumlar Rice mill is almost ready for commissioning. Stallion and Dangote Mills are also on course barring the challenge of Covid-19 pandemic. iii. Develop a vibrant seed production sector in partnership with African rice centre; iv. Raise the quality of locally produced rice to international standard through modern processing; v. Build a network of rice paddy producers (Clusters) around rice mills to ensure adequate supply of paddy and; vi. Create 12,000 jobs for 12,000 farmers who will in turn create additional 50,000 jobs in full production across the rice value chain between now and 2023.
  5. 5. Page 5 of 6 11. As a government, we are determined in our continued quest to diversify the economy and maximize the potential of our mainstay, agriculture. To this end, we have recorded tremendous success in other areas in the Agriculture sector. The 40-year old moribund Ikun Dairy farm has been resuscitated in partnership with Promassidor Limited with assistance from the Central Bank estimated to attract over $5million investment with 10,000 litres daily production of milk in focus. We also recently commissioned Farmkonnect, the largest snail farm in Africa with annual production of 3.6 million snails with slime extraction at Egbeja snail village, Oke-Imesi Ekiti. While several other agribusinesses and agro-allied industries are at various stages of completion – in cassava, cocoa, oil-palm, forestry, aquaculture and livestock management. 12. As a government, our simple pledge is to institutionalize commercial agriculture and make agribusiness enticing, exciting and encouraging for the populace, especially the youths. That is why we started our Youth in Commercial Agriculture Development (YCARD) programme which now has over 1000 young farmers. I am sure their President, Sanya Fabiyi and other members are here in the gathering. Without doubt, Ekiti State is making this solemn pledge a reality today with this tripartite partnership between CBN ANCHOR BORROWERS FUNDS, RIFAN (Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria) and Ekiti State Government. This is the commencement of the programme in the Southwest and I am glad that my brother Governors – Akeredolu and Oyetola are here to honour us with their presence. It is my expectation that Ondo and Osun States will be the next destinations for this tripartite partnership.
  6. 6. Page 6 of 6 13. I want to particularly express my profound appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his relentless commitment to Agricultural transformation in Nigeria. I also want to thank my brothers – Governors Atiku Bagudu and Badaru Abubakar for their constant encouragement and their determination to get Ekiti State on the Agricultural diversification map. The Governor of Central Bank has been supportive in our various Agricbusinesses in Ekiti. We have enjoyed his support in our partnership for milk production and ranching with Promasidor as well as in our cassava programme and now in this partnership with RIFAN. As for RIFAN, Alhaji Goronyo and his team have been stellar in their commitment to this initiative and we are very encouraged by the passion demonstrated so far. We believe we can always count on them in making this partnership work in the overall interest of our people. 14. Once again, on behalf of the Government and people of Ekiti State, I welcome you to this occasion. 15. Thank you and God bless. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor

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