Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
BUA Rice Ltd, owners of Nigeria’s largest rice mill and a subsidiary of Nigeria’s foremost foods and infrastructure conglomerate, BUA Group has set a target of 1million tonnes of rice production within the next four years.
The group has also announced its partnerships with rice farmers in Kano and Jigawa States to realize the goal.
This target according to the firm informed it’s descion to hold a stakeholder session with the Kano Rice Farmers Associations to develop an efficient outgrowers scheme that will involve the provision of improved seeds, technical expertise as well as BUA’s milling and processing infrastructure.
The programme is expected to drive BUA current processing capacity from 200,000 tonnes to 1million tonnes to reinforce the position of its rice mill, which was supplied by world renowned Satake Japanese Technology, as the largest rice mill in Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Kabiru Rabiu, Group Executive Director, BUA Group said that BUA remained genuinely committed to the Government’s resolve to reduce the Nation’s dependence on imported rice by boosting local capacity to produce, process and package rice locally.
He further added that this unique private-led partnership will also support the rice farmers to take advantage of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme whilst BUA will provide end-to-end support to the value chain in ensuring that its milling facilities are being utilized optimally.
Rabiu noted that BUA Group the partnership was to support the government in establishing another 200,000 tonnes rice processing plant on the banks of the Hadejia River Basin in Auyo, Jigawa State.
He commended the President Buhari led administration for driving a Nigeria first policy in Agric; the Central Bank of Nigeria for providing an enabling environment for farmers to access finance as well as the Kano and Jigawa State governments for their support in ensuring the initiative came to fruition.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Kano State Rice Farmers Association commended BUA Group for initiating this partnership declaring that Kano State alone had over 500,000 rice farmers with over 40,000 of them fully registered with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
He was also optimistic that the initiative will see improved yields as well as reduce wastage currently being experienced due to insufficient processing and storage facilities.
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