The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has announced the construction of a multi-billion naira rice processing plant in Hadin, Jigawa State.
A statement from the group indicated on Thursday that the project was part of the Dangote’s Rice Outgrower Scheme.
It added that the mill with capacity to process 16 metric tonnes of paddy rice per hour when completed would process paddy rice worth N14bn annually.
Dangote said the commencement of the construction of the integrated rice processing plant was the culmination of series of events which began with the signing of a $1bn agreement with the Federal Government for the integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa states.
He said, “We have continued to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrowers programme, thereby creating thousands of jobs and increasing incomes.
“We have also reduced poverty in rural communities by providing high-quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured Market for farmers as well as creating access to finance, mechanisation and irrigation services so as to enhance agricultural productivity.”
According to him, the mill which will take only a few months to install, is the first in the series of five other mills coming up in Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger states in the first phase, while in the second phase, other mills will be built in Nasarawa and Kogi states among others.
He said, “When these planned six mills come fully on stream, we will achieve a capacity of 700,000 metric tonnes per annum of parboiled rice, which will make Dangote Rice the largest rice producer in Africa and register a bold step in making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production. ”
Dangote stated further that towards co-creating value for all stakeholders, the company had engaged about 20,000 outgrowers expected to produce an average of 180,000 tonnes of paddy rice on about 30,000 hectares of land.
He said, “We are focused on engaging about 300,000 farmers in the next 12 months when our rice mills are all functional.
“We will continue to launch massive agricultural projects across the country in rice and dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of $4.6bn over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone. That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported materials and the foreign exchange headache that comes with it.”