FG plans 40 big rice mills in Nigeria

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is already facilitating the procurement of additional 40 large-scale rice mills, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the agriculture minister, has revealed. According to the minister, this move will help the country to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by 2018. 
Audu Ogbeh, agriculture minister Vanguard reports that while speaking in Abuja on Thursday, November, 10 at a workshop themed: ‘Big Boost for Agro Diversification and Export’, the minister said the Integrated Rice Mills (IRMs) of the ministry had increased the rice milling capacity in the country.
The report quoted the minister as saying government’s new goal was to attain self-sufficiency in food production and even export 10 million metric tonnes of food to other ECOWAS countries and beyond by 2019. Stating that the country’s food import bill has now declined from N1.1 trillion in 2009 to N684 billion in 2013, Ogbeh said: “Nigeria has huge agricultural potentials with 11 million hectares of arable land but only cultivates 40 per cent; 263 billion cubic metres of water with two of the largest rivers in Africa.
“We have a cheap labour force to support agriculture intensification. We grow our food, feed ourselves and create local and international markets for our farmers and also unlock our enormous potentials in agriculture. “We can achieve the economic diversification goal of government and surmount the present economic recession.
“I hope with the help of the Pentair, Good Rain, Dayu irrigation, Zhong Zhou Poultry, Jinan and our local companies, we will diversify and get out of recession in no time.” The managing director of Eurobase Nigeria Limited, Don Ekesiobi, who organised the workshop, noted that his company and the ministry of Agriculture brought six world leading agro companies to Nigeria for partnership. “I hereby state that any state, local government, commercial and private agro company that adopts and partner with these corporations will be on their way out of recession within a short time.
“Nigeria’s arable land has capacity to generate 100 billion dollar annually, if we take agro chain value seriously this time. “If Chile and other countries can survive on agriculture with huge favour, Nigeria can do the same if it adopts and apply the right technology,” he said.

Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult