By G9ija

Alhaji Suleiman Umar, the National Programme Manager of Popular Farms Mills in Kano State says the company is targeting to process 1.5 million tonnes of Paddy Rice per annum in the country.

Umar disclosed this on Thursday at the foundation laying ceremony for rice mill expansion and Sesame Processing Unit in Kano.

According to him, the company which is a division of Stallion group of companies, has an installed milling capacity of 430,000 metric tonnes per annum.

He said that popular Farms and Mills was a key stakeholder in the country’s growth with commercial interest in the food sector, especially rice and other food products.

“Our plan is to spearhead and lead the Nigerian rice revolution and self-sufficiency in rice production in the country,” the National Programme Manager said.

“We are achieving this through free technical and business skills training to rice out-growers and cooperatives as well as empowering women and youths in the rice value chain.

“The company is leveraging on the policy impetus provided by the Federal Government through its green alternative agricultural agenda, this has enables us upgrade our local rice milling capacity to 430,000 metric tonnes per annum.”

Umar said that the company was one of the largest automated rice milling units in the country with an annual installed milling capacity of 150,000 metric tonnes with a direct contact of 35,000 farmers and 1,000 rice cooperatives across the country.

“We have been achieving by conducting various interactions and integration services, which has enable us to enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 1,151 cooperatives.

“We have 41,435 member farmers and impacted technical know- how in rice farming of over 36,000 out-growers in the past three years,” he said.

Earlier, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and the State Coordinator of the ministry in Kano State, Alhaji Muhammad Shehu-Adamu commended the company for such huge investment in the country.

According to him, such will boost the country’s economy through creating employment opportunity for Nigerians.

He said that the ban on rice had really achieved its desired goal where the massive rice production in the country had made us to start exporting other parts of the world.

The minister said that such efforts by the Federal Government had made the country to be declared as the largest rice producing country in Africa.

The representative of CBN, Mr Hassan Tom said that the effort of the company to complement the Federal Government’s effort had contributed in reducing the importation and smuggling of foreign rice to the country.

According to him, the reduction of the importation of rice will also contribute to the reduction of the high rate of dollars in the country.

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