Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, along with the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday flagged off a rice outgrowers’ scheme which would cover 25,000 hectares of farmland across some selected local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the site of the event which held in Goronyo Dam, Dangote said the project would within the next three years produce at least one million tonnes of high quality parboiled rice for the Nigerian market.
He said to achieve this, his company plans to cultivate 160,000 hectares of irrigated rice farmland in selected states, including Sokoto, which will be cultivated to grow paddy during two cropping seasons per year.
“With this, we hope to achieve a minimum yield of five to six tonnes per hectare. Our plans is to off-take not less that 80 per cent 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, Tambuwal commended Dangote for sitting 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.
Tambuwal promised that all necessary incentives have been put in place to ensure smooth operation of the scheme.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, urged the people to embrace this opportunity to improve their farming technique and standard of living.
He said the people of Sokoto are grateful for the opportunity and would mobilise needed resources to ensure its success.