Agriculture Headline National News Nigeria

FG to construct 10 large scale intergrated rice mills

The Federal Government said it had released funds for the construction of 10 large-scale integrated rice mills with 320 metric tonnes capacity per day.

The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this in Abuja at the fifth edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard 2015-2017 series.

The scorecard series is organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of the administration in over seven years of being in office.

Presenting the achievements of his ministry, the minister said the construction of the ten large-scale rice mills was part of the resolve of the administration for the country not only to be self-sufficient in the staple but for export.

He said the location of the mills were Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Niger, Kaduna, Gombe, Ekiti, Ogun, Bayelsa and FCT

Mr Abubakar also disclosed that the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative established in 2016 had led to the increase of fertilizer blending plants in the country from eight to 200.

He added that the annual fertilizer production rose from 300 metric tonnes per annum to over 7 million metric tonnes.

The minister added that the ministry constructed and handed over Agribusiness Incubation Centres for the training of students in various agricultural value chains.

The beneficiary institutions, according to the minister, were the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University in Katsina State and the University of Ibadan in Oyo State.

Others are the University of Maiduguri, Borno, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa and the University of Abuja, FCT, while the project is ongoing in the Federal Universities of Lokoja, Kogi state and Umudike.

He said the ministry also distributed 14,785 agricultural equipment, materials and tools, groundnut processing machines, cashew processing machines, and oil palm processing mills with components.

The minister said they also distributed tractors, combine harvester tricycles for farmers, colour sorters and 2000 Knapsack sprayers to farmers nationwide.

He said there has been a paradigm shift in the agriculture space because of President Buhari’s vision to redirect the economic trajectory of the country by diversifying into agriculture.

The fallout of the paradigm shift, according to the minister, was that the agriculture sector contributed 23.2 percent to the nation’s GDP as of the second quarter of 2022.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino