FG moves to increase rice production through N20bn Darma mill

FG moves to increase rice production through N20bn Darma mill

- The Federal Government is set to increase rice production in Nigeria through a N20 billion Darma Rice Mill

- As of 2011, rice accounted for 10% of household food spending, and 6.6% of total household spending

- The new mill with a production capacity of 36 tonnes per hour in two production line would be the largest rice mill in Africa

As part of an effort to bridge the mechanisation gap in rice production in the country and to complement the effort of the Federal Government, Dahiru Mangal, is building over N20 billion rice mill in Kastina which will Revolutionalise Rice Production in the country.

The Darma Rice Mill with the intervention from the federal government has witnessed significant progress in rice production in Nigeria.

Having pummelled the production of rice in the country to 3.7 million tonnes since 2017 the importance of the boost cannot be overemphasised

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Being Nigeria's most consumed staple food in the last decade, the consumption of rice increased to 4.7%, almost four times the global consumption growth and reached 6.4 million tonnes in 2017, accounting for 20% of Africa's consumption.

Also, as of 2011, rice accounted for 10% of household food spending, and 6.6% of total household spending.

With Nigeria's current rice statistics which suggest that there is an enormous potential to raise productivity and increase production, yields within the country have remained at two tonnes per hectare, and as population increases, along with rural to urban migration, ensuring food security in key staples becomes critical.

However, it has become evidently clear that food security cannot be achieved by a system that depends almost entirely on human muscle power and other manual methods.

Also, with FG's desire to boost local production of rice considering its investment in the sector, the smuggling of rice through Nigeria's land borders with Benin and Niger Republics have been frustrating the effort of the government.

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In August 2019, FG had shut Nigeria's border with Benin and Niger Republics following smuggling activities in the area.

A Nigerian government's exercise code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, jointly conducted by the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, The Police and the Military is focused on curbing the activities of smugglers across these borders.

The exercise coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser will ensure that Nigerians in the majority of the rural areas go back to their farms.

Darma mill's project manager, Mukhtar Kafinsoli, said with a production capacity of 36 tonnes per hour in two production lines, the mill would be the largest rice mill in Africa.

While speaking with journalists during a visit to the factory, Kafinsoli said that the second line of the mill comprises of silos and raw materials store, stressing that the plan is to have four capacity, but they are starting with two at the moment.

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Kafinsoli said: ‘"We intended to have four capacity starting with two. We will start the second batch immediately after completing the ongoing project. The machines will arrive Nigeria by December 25, 2019 and the project will be completed by March 2020.’’

Meanwhile, the managing director of the Rice Mill, Nural Dahiru Mangal, said that over 2000 direct staff would be employed, along with over 200 expatriates who are going to train the indigenous staff.

He revealed that the rice mill would have a quite conventional storage facility of 12,00 metric tonnes of rice worth N20 billion. Mangal added that fertilizer plant would equally be built to help increase the yield of rice.

Mangal said: "The rice mill was designed by Indians due to their expertise in rice mill business, but is being built by Nigerians. We will give it maximum support for the project to be achieved."

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"A story building will be built for staff quarters with the capacity to accommodate 130 staff. Also, a staff quarter that will accommodate over 200 expatriate with staff canteens would also be built," Mangal added.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the social media aide to President Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, had said that rice producers across the country are set to crash the high price of rice.

Onochie said rice consumers "should expect a crash in the commodity's price to about N9,000 per 50kg bag.

The presidential media aide said instead of paying 25,000 for "Foreign", Nigerians will buy local rice and have extra an extra N16,000 to take care of other needs.

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Source: Legit.ng

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