The mill with a capacity to process 16 metric tons of paddy rice per hour, when completed, will in a year process paddy rice worth N14 billion bought directly from the famers in Jigawa at market rate.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony in Hadin, Kaugama local government area, 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 $1billion agreement with the federal government for the integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa.
“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, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers. Also, creating access to finance, mechanization and irrigation services so as to enhance agricultural productivity.”, he stated.
Recalling that the Dangote Rice limited started the outgrowers scheme in 2016 with thousands of hectares of land in Hadejia, Jigawa state, creating over 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) to farmers, the business mogul said with the new ultra modern mill enough paddy rice will be grown and harvested for processing.
According to him, the mill which will take only months for installation and commissioning 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, Kogi, and other states.
In his opening remarks, the Dangote Group Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin explained that the Dangote Rice team has been involved in scaling up the outgrower operations to a least 5,000 hectares this season and this will very soon increase and grow to over 15,000 hectares cultivated per cycle or season to fully optimise operations.
He said the establishment of a Multi-billion Naira state-of-the-art integrated rice processing facility to process at least 260 metric tons of rice paddy per day grown which is produced from thousands of local rice out growers within Jigawa state is a giant step forward and expresses his company’s confidence and faith in local farmers to continuously stand with Dangote to make this project a success.
Located on 25 hectares site in Hadin, Edwin noted that the mill is earmarked to begin operations in the last quarter of 2018. “During the construction phase and when it becomes fully operational, hundreds of employment opportunities will be created, knowledge transference and skills developed among our teeming youthful population thereby boosting local economy.”
“We made commitment to Nigerians that we will produce 1 million metric ton of quality parboiled rice. Since then we have embarked on several initiatives towards achieving this objective with support and collaboration from state and federal government agencies, ministries and departments, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, traditional and financial institutions, etc., we continue to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrower program thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers.”
Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru expressed delight at the stage of the Dangote Rice project in the state saying it was in line with the vision of the Invest Jigawa, an organ set up to accelerate investments in the state.
He said Jigawa is one of the States reputed to be on top on ease of doing business in Nigeria saying the Dangote Rice presence in the state is a pointer to the fact. He added that the state is also in the forefront of the diversification efforts of the federal government from oil to non-oil ventures especially agriculture.