Nigeria’s Popular Farms and Mills Limited, has invested over US $70m to boost production of varieties of agricultural produces especially on paddy rice and sesame in Nigeria.
The Managing Director, of the Stallion group subsidiary based in Kano, Mr. Amit Kumar Rai, disclosed this over the past weekend during the 7th annual supply chain meeting of stakeholders and workers. He declared that the group was targeting 1.50m tons of paddy per annual in Nigeria through the setting up of additional milling facilities.
Ral, said the focus of the group was to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production. As such,the company entered into an MOU, with over 1,151 cooperative groups, having 41,486 member-farmers as well as 65,715ha of rice farm area, with an installed milling capacity of 430 metric tonnes per annum and projected a capacity of 44,000 tons.
He further explained that the company has 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.
According to Mr. Ral, the company aims to spearhead and lead the Nigerian rice revolution to self-sufficiency in rice production. This, he said, will be through 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.
The Managing Director added that to sustain the company’s vision statement of ensuring genetic integrity of rice, they have introduced fairly priced certified ‘popular seeds’ for their valuable stakeholders. Popular Farms and Mills ltd has also collaborated National Agricultural Seeds Council for the purpose of producing and satisfying the locally released and grown genetic seeds.
The company, which has been operating for about 50 years in the country was 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.