Rice Growers To Access Loans At 9% Interest – CBN | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Agriculture, Business

Rice Growers To Access Loans At 9% Interest – CBN

Posted: Jul 31, 2015 at 12:36 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sylvester Enoghase,  Lagos


As part of a new national rice intervention framework, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, said that rice growers in the country would now be able to access loans from the apex bank at a 9 per cent interest rate.

The loans, according to the governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele, would be accessed under the micro, small, and medium enterprises scheme from the CBN through their respective banks at a maximum of 9 per cent interest rate.

Emefiele, who made the disclosure while speaking at a stakeholders meeting with officials of paddy rice producing states and rice value chain investors in Abuja, stressed the need to clear the farmers’ unsold stock.

He said, “There are unsold stock and we must agree at this meeting to take those unsold stock from the farmers so that they can continue to go to their farms. Let’s limit their job to producing the paddy and once it is produced the rice millers or the Ministry of Agriculture will take the rice off them. That brings me to the issue of funding; the kind of programme we conceive is what we call an out growers scheme where we will work with the farmers, provide them more finance to acquire more land and appeal to the state governors to clear any impediments standing on their way. We are at a stage where we have decided that we must feed ourselves.”

He stated that the rice millers, under the commercial agricultural credit scheme will also access loans to buy unsold stock off the farmers even as he urged them to organise themselves through their association to effectively access the loans. He also said that the CBN would work with the state governors in order for the farmers to be provided with land, for large scale rice farmers, and support for their irrigation activities.

Emefiele used the opportunity to reiterate that the CBN will not renege on the policy measure which has included rice in the list of 41 items excluded from being procured with foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange markets. Noting that some people have wondered why rice was included in the list, he explained that the figures available to the CBN show that from January 2012 to May 2015, the country had spent over $2.41 billion on rice importation at the detriment of rice growers and integrated rice mills in Nigeria.