Rice farmers in Nigeria can now access an international grant as massive as $600 million donated by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other bodies to boost food security.
The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, says it is working to access the $30 billion agricultural grant contributed by the Foundation and other donor agencies for rice production in Africa.
A team of experts from Geneva had met with the association on the grant, which Nigerian farmers can access as much as $600 million.
National President of the association, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, told NAN in Abuja on Wednesday, that the association had submitted a template that would qualify it for the grant.
He said the visit was fallout of the Green Revolution Forum tagged `New Push for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation,’ held in September 2016 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, where the fund was pledged by various agencies.
He said the grant would cover various rice value chains including production, processing, packaging and marketing, and would assist the country attain self sufficiency in rice production.
“They said that Nigeria will get about $600 million from the grant, it is going to be a partnership between RIFAN, government and the private sector.
“There is fear around the world that hunger will take over the world particularly Africa. That is why some agencies have decided to put their monies together to make sure that enough food is grown in Africa.
“That is why they want to bring the grant to Nigeria and other African countries so that we will be part of the beneficiaries toward achieving self sufficiency, particularly in rice.
“Although rice is mainly the key crop covered by the grant, other crops are still included in the grant,’’he said.