To achieve rice sufficiency, Kebbi State is partnering WACOT Rice Limited on the commodity production.
WACOT Rice, a member of TGI Group, is helping Nigeria to regain its status as a top rice producer. It has invested in rice processing plants. To this end, the company is supporting the Kebbi government to roll out sustainable agricultural standards and practices throughout its rice-production value chain.
The group has established a modern ricemill in Argungu, Kebbi State, which will produce 120,000 metric tons yearly and 400 metric tonnes of rice daily.
TGI Group Group Managing Director, Mr. Rahul Savara, said WACOT rice mill was recently inaugurated by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. He said the firm would help farmers conform to agricultural standards and practice, promote resource efficiency and sustainability, both on-farm and throughout the rice value-chain.
According to him, his organisation is bringing significant global experience delivering knowledge and expertise in rice production through quality control and strict inspection throughout the entire value chain.
Savara said the quality of rice being produced at the mill is comparable to the best in the world. The mill, he said, has a production capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year and fully automated silos that have the capacity to store raw materials for up to six months of production.
The state-of-the-art rice mill with a capital outlay of over N10billion and is expected to provide employment for 3,500 people and its procurement of rice paddy will reach at least 50,000 farmers, as the capacity grows.
He appreciated the Federal Government for its various initiatives in support of agriculture through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other mediums, which has impacted the growth of the sector positively, and has also served as a motivation for private sector players in the sector.
“Therefore, for us this is just the beginning. We have plans to invest over N100 billion over the next years in various agricultural value chains.
”It is worthy of note that the rice processing plant is the first rice mill to be conceptualised, executed and commissioned during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.’’
The construction of the mill was first announced by the governor in November 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme in Birnin-Kebbi.
“One of the critical things that we are seeing today, especially the development of agriculture, is that this is growth with jobs. Several thousands of our people are farmers and are engaged in farming”.
On how Kebbi has been able to achieve this feat, the governor disclosed recently that on assuming office and discovering the huge rice potentials in his state, he immediately partnered with the Bank of Industry and the Central Bank of Nigeria and to show his commitment, he put down a princely sum of N4 billion as financial assistance and inputs to rice farmers in the state to go into commercial farming.