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June 14, 2024
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Lower Rice Prices: Farmers Urge FG to Relaunch Anchor Borrowers Program

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has called on the federal government to restart the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) and address insecurity across the country as a measure to stem the ever-increasing rice prices.  

The Vice President of the group, Mrs Nnenna Ejim disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) where she gave reasons for the recent hike in rice prices.  

According to him, the current elevated rice prices were caused by the prevalence of the rice blast disease, insecurity, farmer-herder conflicts and inflation of input cost.  

She stated, “Government policy on anchor borrower was not implemented last year because of election and other factors like COVID-19 impact has created a huge gap in rice cultivation hence the hike.” 

“The Russian-Ukraine war is affecting us seriously because they are the greatest provider of fertilizer and other input which we are the moment we have difficulties getting such input. 

“The way forward in ensuring a drastic reduction in the price of rice is that the government should prioritise the security of its populace both in the farms and around communities.

“Farmers should be given inputs at subsidized rate and also enlighten farmers on climate-smart agriculture so that they will not risk their  lives or production trying to cultivate areas with lots of floods.” 

What you should know  

The CBN initiated the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) in November 2015 to foster economic connections between Small Holder Farmers (SHF) and Anchors. 

In total, approximately 4.67 million farmers engaged in maize, rice, or wheat farming benefited from the program. 

Furthermore, a total of N1.12 trillion was disbursed to 563 anchors, with N670.4 billion repaid and N450.90 billion outstanding. 

Increase in rice prices  

Research reveals that in 2024, the price of rice will rise to N88,000 per 50kg bag, in line with earlier projections made towards the end of 2023.  

AFEX exchange forecasted a 36% increase in rice prices for 2024 due to decreased production capacity and rising demand. 

Food inflation continues its upward trajectory, with February’s figures from the NBS revealing a rate of 37.9%, marking one of the highest levels in recent times. 

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