The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to support small scale farmers across the country with a N450 billion facility from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Information Minister Labaran Maku said this when he led the National Good Governance Tour team on an inspection of the Labana Rice Processing Mill in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
Maku, who said the Goodluck Jonathan administration has set 2015 as target on the ban of rice importation, said the idea is to save foreign exchange and to encourage farmers in rice producing states to increase production that will eventually lead to exportation.
Earlier, Labana Farms representative, Abdullahi Idris, told the team that the idea behind establishing the mill, which is solely a private initiative though supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, is to create employment and to curb rice importation.
Also speaking, Governor Saidu Dakingari said the project will be sustained by regulating the price of rice and liaising with farmers through Sure-P to purchase the produce at a reasonable price.
Dakingari, who said the state has spent N4 billion on rice farming since 2010, said efforts are being made by the state to establish five rice processing plants that will be used alongside five others already acquired by the ministry of agriculture and former governor Adamu Aliero.
The mill is expected to carry out its test run between June and July.
The team also inspected a grain reserve silo at Bulasa. The silo is meant to provide storage and preserve grains that can be used especially in times of emergencies.
Source: Daily Trust