Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group of Companies,on Wednesday during the inauguration of the Dangote Rice Out growers scheme in Sokoto state, disclosed that his company intends to produce one million tonnes of rice within the next three years. The Plan if actualised will satisfy part of Nigeria’s annual demand of 6.5million tonnes.
According to him, ”As agriculture remains an important sector in our economy, we plan to produce 1million tonnes of high quality parboiled rice within the next three years.
“This is by cultivating about 160,000 hectares of irrigable rice farmland in some selected states, thus making the commodity affordable to ordinary Nigerians.
“Moreover, the outgrowers scheme is committed to creating significant number of jobs, increasing the incomes of small holder farmers and ensuring food security in the country.
“This is by providing high quality seeds, fertiliser and agro-chemicals, as well as technical assistance on best agricultural practice to farmers.”
The African richest man disclosed that he was encouraged to go into rice cultivation because of the genuine interest of the Federal government to revive agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.
He said, “Buoyed by the policy direction of the federal government, we at Dangote decided to key into this by establishing Dangote Rice Limited to partner with states to redress the present situation where a huge sumo forex is spent on importation of rice.
“In the next three years we want to produce one million tons of quality rice and make it available and affordable to the people. We hope to do 150, 000 ha and when we are done, Nigeria will not have anything to do with importation of rice.
“Dangote Rice outgrowers scheme is committed to creating significant number of jobs, increasing the incomes of smallholders farmers and ensuring food security in the country by providing high quality seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals as well as technical assistance on best agricultural practice to farmers.
In his response, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal called on the farmers to respect the agreement signed between the state and Dangote group to ensure that,” all products are directed to the real sectors of need.’’
”The coming of Dangote to invest in the state was as a result of the government’s sustained efforts toward inviting prospective investors to the state,” he said.