By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Aminu Tambuwal along with the President of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote flagged off a rice outgrowers’ scheme on Wednesday, which will cover 25,000 hectares of farmland across some selected local government areas of Sokoto state.
Speaking at the site of the event which held in Goronyo Dam, Mr Dangote said the project will within the next three years produce at least one million tonne of high quality parboiled rice for Nigerian market.
He said to achieve this, his company plans to cultivate 160,000 hectares of irrigable rice farmland in selected states, including Sokoto, which will be cultivated to grow paddy during two cropping-season per year.
“With this, we hope to achieve a minimum yield of five to six tonnes per hectare. Our plans are to off-take not less that 80 percent of the paddy produced by the outgrowers. We will also develop our own farm operations to include seed multiplication capabilities,” he added.
According to him, Dangote Rice Limited aims to boost the local economy, create jobs along the value and make a significant contribution to the transformation of subsistence farms into market-oriented agribusinesses.
In his remarks, Mr Tambuwal commended Dangote for siting the project in Sokoto State, saying the renewed efforts of his administration in the sector has started yielding the desired result.
The Governor said education and agriculture have remained the two top sectors in the priority list in the state in the last two years, revealing that this year, Sokoto has allocated more to agriculture than all states of the federation.
“We have had series of visits to different countries and signed various MoUs with many organisations and entities, Dangote inclusive, with a view to uplifting agriculture in the state.
“So the Dangote Rice Project in Sokoto State will not only provide food security and employment to our teeming unemployed youths, it would ensure the overall development of agricultural activities in the state,” he added.
Mr Tambuwal assured that all necessary incentives have been put in place to ensure smooth operation of the scheme.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Mr Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, urged the people to embrace this opportunity to improve their farming technique and standards of living.
He said the people of Sokoto are grateful for the opportunity and will mobilise needed resources to ensure its success.
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