NIGERIAN President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday unveiled the world’s largest rice pyramids, made with one million bags of rice in the city of Abuja.
The rice pyramids project is a collaboration of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) aimed to showcase the government’s efforts to boost rice production, and to make Nigeria – Africa’s most populous state – self-sufficient in food, said international reports.
According to Buhari’s spokesperson Bashir Ahmed, since inauguration in 2015, the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme has increased the average yield of rice per hectare from 1.8 metric tonnes to 5 metric tonnes and enabled 95 percent reduction of the country’s annual rice import bill from $1.5bn in 2015 to $18.5mn, he tweeted.
In his address on Tuesday morning, Buhari said his food security agenda would drive down prices of food items in the country.
Buhari commended the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for Initiating the Anchor Borrowers Programme, through which the massive rice production was achieved, according to Nigerian online news website Vanguard.
According to news broadcaster BBC News Africa, the bags of rice for the pyramids were collected from farmers across Nigeria, whose efforts to increase production received financial backing from the central bank in a scheme known as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, wrote BBC.
From a national paddy rice production of about 4.5 tons per annum before the ABP initiative in 2015, paddy rice production rose to over 9 million tons by last year.