Popular Farm Invests $70m to Boost Rice, Sesame Production

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

A subsidiary of Stallion Group, Popular Farms and Mills Limited has invested over $70 million to boost massive production of varieties of agricultural produces especially paddy Rice and Sesame in Nigeria so as to enhance economic fortune of the country.

The Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Amit Kumar Rai disclosed this yesterday at the seventh annual supply chain meeting of its stakeholders and workers in Kano.

Rai declared that the group “is targeting of 1.50 million tons of paddy rice per annum in Nigeria through the setting of additional milling and structures facilities.”

He explained that the focus of the Stallion Group “is to make Nigeria self sufficient in the rice revolution policy of president Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

“In the course of its interaction and integration services, the company entered into an MOU, with over 1,151 Cooperative Groups, having 41,486 member farmers as well as 65,715 hectares of rice farm area, with an installed milling capacity of 430 metric tonnes per annum and projected a capacity of 44,000 tons.”

He said the company had also fulfilled its commitment to spend a dedicated budget, toward achieving expansion of rice and sesame value-chain backward integration initiative, in association, with various partners in order to expand the exportation of Sesame that would earn the country foreign exchange.

He said: “Our plan is to spearhead and lead the Nigerian rice revolution to self-sufficiency in rice production. We intend to achieve this through technical and farmers business skills training to over 24, 264 rice out-growers across the producing states and cooperatives, as well as empowering women and youths in the rice value chain.

“To sustain our vision statement of ensuring genetic integrity of rice, we have introduced fairly priced certified ‘popular seeds’ for our valuable stakeholders. We have collaborated with National Agricultural Seeds Council for the purpose of producing and satisfying the locally released and grown genetic seeds.”

He explained that the company “is leveraging on the policy impetus provided by the federal government through its Green alternative agricultural agenda, this enabled us to have upgraded our local rice milling capacity to 430,000 metric tons per annum.”

He added that the company, which has been operating for about 50 years in the country, “is one of the largest automated rice milling unit in the country, with an annual installed milling capacity of 150,000 metric tons, with direct contact of 35,000 farmers.

”We also free proud to announce that we have already inaugurated it by laying foundation stone of the expanded farm land and in the next one month, the sesame processing and cleaning facility would be operational at our Challawa, Kano unit.”