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Dangote, Sokoto Government, Farmers Sign Rice Growers Scheme Agreement

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The chairman of Dangote Rice Limited, Aliko Dangote lamented over the huge foreign exchange loss on rice importation as the company Sign Rice Growers Scheme Agreement with Farmers.
The scheme agreement which was signed yesterday in Sokoto, will create jobs for 16,000 out grower rice farmers in the State and a pledge by all parties to ensure the success of the scheme to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice cultivation.
Dangote said he was mover to go into rice cultivation because of the genuine interest of the Federal government to revive agriculture as the mainstay of the economy, and reduce importation of foods that could be produced locally.
He lamented that Nigeria consumes 6.5 Mtn of rice which costs the nation over 2 billion dollars annually pointing out that it is heartening that the government now has policy direction that encourages private sector’s active participation in agriculture.
“Buoyed by the policy direction of the federal government, we at Dangote decided to key into this by establishing Dan gone 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.
“This Scheme will help to diversify the economy, alleviate poverty and reduce the nation’s import bill. The scheme has been designed as a one stop solution for the rice value chain,” he stated.
The project director of Dangote Rice, Robert Coleman, said the Sokoto operation was a demonstration phase to familiarize the farming community with the programme, train extension workers and lead farmers as well as test modern technologies.
He noted that they would have 25,000 ha cultivated by nearly 50,000 outgrowers in 2017 in addition to hundreds of jobs expected to be created by the end of that year.

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