The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, says the apex bank will support small holder farmers to boost food production. According to information on CBN’s verified twitter handle, Emefiele said the support would ensure that farmers improved their yields. Emefiele expressed the commitment at the launch of Rivers Cassava Processing Company, May 27, in Afam, Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State, designed to support improved production and processing of cassava into high quality flour. He said the CBN remained committed to working with state governments in supporting small holder farmers and processors across various commodities such as cassava, palm oil and fisheries. He commended the efforts of the Rivers government, working with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, the Dutch Embassy Investment Nigeria Ltd. and their technical partners, in setting up the integrated facility.
According to him, the cassava processing facility will support the CBN’s mandate of promoting economic growth for Nigeria. “The cassava processing facility will also provide farmers with a verifiable platform to access finance from the CBN and other financial institutions through our Anchor Borrowers Programme. With the capacity to process over 45,000 tons of cassava, this facility will provide high-quality cassava flour for households, industries and bakeries. The facility will help in reducing our reliance on imports of cassava by-products, which serves as a key input in the production of food items in several factories. Nigeria imports over 580million dollars worth of cassava by-products annually,” he said.
Emefiele added that the developmental finance initiatives at the CBN were focused on creating an enabling environment that would drive both public and private sectors’ participation in the real sector of the economy. He said such initiatives would record strategic deliverables around price stability, job creation, financial inclusion, import substitution and accretion to foreign reserve. The CBN governor revealed that Rivers State had already accessed over N13 billion from CBN’s various intervention programmes, and that their loan status remained in good standing. (NAN)