Nigerians consume over 6.5 million tonnes of rice annually and less than half of this quantity is grown domestically. This means rice importation to the tune of over 3.3 million tonnes is done by the country yearly.
Rice Importation costs Nigeria over $2billion every year – Dangote
Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Groups of Companies said Nigerians consume over 6.5 million tonnes of rice annually and less than half of this quantity is grown domestically. This means rice importation to the tune of over 3.3 million tonnes is done by the country yearly.
He said this last Wednesday at the inauguration of the “Dangote Rice Out Growers Scheme” in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
He voiced his concern that the deficit that arises from importation of rice cost Nigeria over $2bn per annum.
“As agriculture remains an important sector in our economy, we plan to produce 1million tonnes of high quality parboiled rice within the next three years.
“This is by cultivating about 160,000 hectares of irrigable rice farmland in some selected states, thus making the commodity affordable to ordinary Nigerians.
“Moreover, the out growers scheme is committed to creating significant number of jobs, increasing the incomes of small holder farmers and ensuring food security in the country.
“This is by providing high quality seeds, fertiliser and agrochemicals, as well as technical assistance on best agricultural practice to farmers.”- Aliko Dangote
The Project Director, Dangote Rice Ltd, Robert Coleman said that the Sokoto operation was a demonstration phase aimed at familiarising the Sokoto farming community with the programme.
“The phase is to familiarise the farming community through the training of extension workers and lead farmers as well as test modern technologies.
“In 2017, they will have 25,000 hectares to be cultivated by nearly 50,000 out growers, in addition to 260 jobs expected to be created by the end of the year.” – Robert Coleman, Project Director, Dangote Rice Ltd
Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal told farmers to keep to the terms of the agreement signed between Sokoto state and the Dangote group to ensure that, “all products are directed to the real sectors of need.’’
“The coming of Dangote to invest in the state was as a result of the government’s sustained efforts toward inviting prospective investors to the state.” – Aminu Tambuwal, Governor Sokoto State
Rice is a cash crop that can be easily grown in many parts of Nigeria. Nigeria has the capacity to grow enough rice to feed Africa. There is no need for rice importation.