Japanese Government has donated a rice mill worth over N26m to Edo State Government, as part of efforts to facilitate rice production in the state.
Addressing journalists during a courtesy visit to the Governor at the Government House in Benin City, for the commissioning and hand-over ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta commended the achievements of Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in the sector.
Recall that in the 2019 farming season, rice farmers in different settlements across the state recorded bumper harvest in farms cultivated in partnership with the state government.
Kikuta said the Japanese Government funded project titled: “The Project for Construction of Rice Mill at Ugbekpe-Ekperi Community of Etsako Local Government Area,” will further enhance farmers’ income and foster socio-economic development of communities.
He said the project; worth over N26m ($85,523) will provide rice-parboiling building, parboiling equipment, hauler, de-husker, de-stoner machine, soaking tanks, steaming tanks, a generator and bagging machine, among others.
The Ambassador said: “The use of the facilities will enhance the quality and marketability of milled rice in this community and nearby communities, thereby enhancing the income of rice farmers, as well as fostering the social and economic development of these communities in particular and Edo State.”
He said the gesture is among the Japanese Embassy’s grassroots grant assistance to increase the quality of rice production in the state, noting that the Japanese Government has also signed exchange of note for the project to increase the diagnostic capacity of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fight infectious diseases.
Kikuta said his country would continue to support the state government in other areas.
Representative of the Governor, who is the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, reassured that the state would provide the needed assistance to ensure the success of the project.