Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo said that importation of food items that could be produced in country had promoted poverty in the country.
Oshiomhole said this on Tuesday in Benin at the launch of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The governor said that production of local rice in the country had declined because of the cheap imported rice.
“With the high cost of the imported rice, the patronage on the local rice has surged.
“This trend has encouraged farmers in the country to return to mass production of the produce.
“People are now thinking about past agricultural times in the country and returning to eating our local foods,” he said.
He also said that consumers’ consumption pattern would be rearranged with the process.
He gave assurance that with funding and technical knowhow provided and the process sustained, wealth would return to rural areas.
The governor advised the sponsor of the scheme to ensure its success.
The governor said that cheques for farmers captured in the programme would be distributed before the end of the tenure of his administration.
He expressed optimism on the success of the programme.
Earlier, Mr Osha Elijah, Head, Development Finance, CBN said the bank would spend N30 billion nationwide to fund the programme.
Elijah, however, said that the programme in Edo would focus on the production of cassava, maize, oil Palm fruits, rice and livestock production.
He also said that the loan would be on nine per cent interest rate with no collateral, but beneficiaries would cross guaranty themselves.