President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commissioned a large scale Integrated Rice Mill in Kwali area council, Abuja.
The mill is equipped with the capacity to process 90 tonnes of rice par day and as an aspect of commitment to the establishment of ten large scale rice processing mill spread across the six geo-political zones for the purpose of expanding domestic rice production and achieving self-sufficiency in the country.
At the launch yesterday, the minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar who represented the President said the country has witnessed rapid increase in domestic rice production from the incentive given to farmers.
According to him, the project was developed based on public private partnership between the government and the anchor investors to increase the country’s processing capacity for rice production and fill-up demand-supply gap to make the country self-sufficient in the commodity value chain.
The President stated that the accomplishment has demonstrated his administration’s commitment to addressing critical infrastructure projects and keeping with the ideals of the change agenda to ensure prudence in the management of public resources, value for money considering the huge investments in this project.
With this accomplishment, he noted that his government’s agricultural development strategy has paid off and enabled the increased output recorded in critical arable and cash crops.
He said in the agricultural sector, Nigeria has the capacity to be food secure if we rightly harness and deploy our human and material resources.
The President said, “I am very glad that today, the country’s paddy yield per hectare has significantly increased to the extent of being adequate in the raw material production. It shows the result of determination for backward integration and economic diversification within the ambit of comparative advantage of natural resource utilisation.
We believe that all the institutional capacitation in place, in the areas of infrastructure, research, credit, insurance, quarantine, mechanisation and input would be sustained by successive administrations to consistently make the country food secure. A responsibility is to always use PPP arrangement to establish more integrated medium and large scale processing mills to reduce post-harvest losses, widen the derivative products of agricultural commodities and reduce food importation”.
“I therefore, encourage every Nigerian to invest in any aspect of the agricultural value chain by using the available incentives, undertaking agribusiness and aiding food production in the country. It will demonstrate our collective stake of developing the sector and providing food for the teeming population.
Let me conclude by urging all stakeholders of the mills, especially, the management to ensure efficient operations, good customer service and maintenance culture in the operations of the mill,” the President added.