Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group is set to launch on Wednesday 25,000 hectares of rice outgrower programme in Sokoto.
The project is expected to provide hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for inhabitants of the rural communities, according to a press release from the African Press Organisation.
A pilot is set to begin with 500 hectares by Gonroyo dam, in Goronyo community.
Gonroyo dam is the second largest in the country, after Kainji.
Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal is expected to flag off the project, and seedlings will be distributed to local farmers who will in turn plant and sell rice to Dangote for milling and final processing.
Sokoto is the second after Jigawa, one of 14 states where Dangote Rice plans to operate outgrower scheme to empower local farmers and create job opportunities for community dwellers and reduce migration to the cities.
Rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million metric tonnes in 2015—with oly 2.3 million metric tonnes satisfied by local production, according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Local production leaves a gap of 4 million metric tonnes currently filled through formal importation or illegal imports over land borders.
Dangote Group hopesto produce 225,000 metric tonnes of parboiled, milled white rice.
“This will allow us to satisfy 4% of the total market demand within 1 year,” said Dangote Group in a statement.
“Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16% of the domestic market demand for rice over the next 5 years.”