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*as FG delegation storms Anambra to understudy Obiano's agric success story

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)has promised to positively consider the Anambra state government's request for N5billion mechanized Agriculture intervention fund to farmers in the state.                   

The CBN governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele disclosed this Thursday in Awka during a one-day assessment visit to the state in company of a high powered Federal Government delegation including the Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbe, the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu and top CBN and Federal Ministry of Agriculture officials.

They had come on a fact-finding visit to the Coscharis farms, Anaku in Ayamelum Council Area in the state, to physically see and assess the impact of the N2billion CBN-backed funds earlier provided to the farms and to unravel the state's success story on rice production.

The team toured the farm's large expanse of rice field where harvesting is presently going on with Mechanized harvester as well as other facilities belonging to the farm, after which they met with members of the Rice Farmers Association in the state at Omor Rice field. 

While conducting the team round, Gov Willie Obiano said that a major factor driving the Anambra success story in rice production was the organization and coordination his administration brought into the subsector, especially in the distribution of funds and farm implements to the farmers. 

He said the visit was a great opportunity to show Nigerians and indeed the world that "Anambra Rice" is real, adding that with its present capacity, the state was speedily approaching it's consumption capacity and will soon start generating surplus for export. 

The governor commended the CBN for its support which has enabled the state achieve so much in Agriculture and appealed to the apex bank to raise it's intervention funds to the State to N5billion to enable more farmers benefit. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Ogbe in his remarks, said President Muhammadu Buhari was investing heavily in Agriculture because of his belief that unless Nigeria was able to feed her population it cannot boast of being independent, adding that with what is happening in Anambra, the country would stop importing rice soon. 

He lauded the working structure which the state government has put in place that has energized the value chain in the rice subsection, and said the jobs already being created especially for the youths would give impetus to the Federal government's efforts at job creation. 

On its part, the CBN Governor, Mr Emefiele explained that the Bank decided to venture into supporting agricultural activities to end the heavy  importation of food in the country and to create a viable alternative for driving the nation's economy whose oil reserves he noted have been drained. 

He said the visit was the beginning of an assessment tour of the nation's agriculturally endowed states on the mandate of the President, aimed at developing a pragmatic blueprint that will drive it's strides at transforming the nation's agric sector. 

The Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Bagudu described the State government's decision to provide infrastructure for the farmers as highly commendable.

The Chairman of Coschars Farms, Mr Cosmos Maduka noted that although he had conceived the idea of venturing into agriculture about twenty-nine years ago, it took the intervention of Gov Obiano in the areas of security and the introduction of the enabling framework for partnership to achieve what he has been able to do in collaboration with the state government. 

 

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