Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, along with the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Muhammed, on Wednesday flagged off a rice outgrowers’ scheme, which will cover 25,000 hectres of farmland across selected local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the site of the event, which held in Goronyo Dam, Dangote said that the project would within the next three years produce at least one million tonnes of high quality parboiled rice for the Nigerian market.
He said that to achieve this, his company planned to cultivate 160,000 hectres of irrigable rice farmlands in selected states, including Sokoto.
The rice farmlands, he said, would be cultivated to grow paddy during two cropping-season per year.
“With this, we hope to achieve a minimum yield of five to six tonnes per hectre. Our plans is to off-take not less than 80 percent of the paddy produced by the outgrowers. We will also develop our own farm operations to include seed multiplication capabilities,” he added.
According to him, Dangote Rice Limited aimed to boost the local economy, create jobs along the value and make a significant contribution to the transformation of subsistence farms into market-oriented agribusinesses.
In his remarks, Governor Tambuwal commended Dangote for siting the project in Sokoto State, saying that the renewed efforts of his administration in the sector had started yielding the desired result.
The governor said education and agriculture had remained the two top sectors in the priority list in the state in the last two years, disclosing that this year Sokoto had allocated more to agriculture than all the states of the federation.
“We have had series of visits to different countries and signed various MoUs with many organisations and entities, Dangote inclusive, with a view to uplifting agriculture in the state.
“So, the Dangote Rice Project in Sokoto State will not only provide food security and employment to our teeming unemployed youths, it would ensure the overall development of agricultural activities in the state,” he added.
Tambuwal assured that all necessary incentives had been put in place to ensure smooth operation of the scheme.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, urged the people to embrace this opportunity to improve their farming technique and standards of living.
He said that the people of Sokoto were grateful for the opportunity and would mobilise needed resources to ensure its success.