The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has expressed satisfaction with the level of interest in agriculture and the impacts the sector has recorded in the last six years, saying the bank is playing a central role in the sector to create jobs and drive growth.
Emefiele, while addressing journalists during an inspection tour of the palm plantation at Odighi village in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, at the weekend, wondered what would have happened to food prices without the foresight in revamping the sector.
The CBN governor expressed delight that the bank has assumed a pivotal role since 2015 upon the pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari that “we produce what we eat and eat what we produce”. He said the different interventions were aimed at repositioning the sector to create employment opportunities as well as grow the gross domestic product (GDP).
Emefiele was visibly elated with the strides being recorded in the production of maize and cassava and expressed optimism that in the next twelve months, palm produce harvests would have commenced.
While acknowledging the significant role played by Edo State Government and Gov. Godwin Obaseki, he appealed to other states to emulate Edo, which has made available about 70 per cent of the arable land he promised.
On the socio-economic impact of the CBN interventions, Emefiele singled out the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) among other intervention schemes, saying it has revolutionised agricultural practice with smallholder farmers now being given credit facilities in the forms of inputs.
Emefiele also commended the efforts of the promoting company, Agri-Allied Resources and Processing Limited and its parent company, Tolaram Group, for their backward integration programmes.