Buhari commissions large-scale integrated rice mill in Abuja
By Nneka Nwogwugwu and Hauwa Ali
President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the large scale Integrated Rice Mill to expand domestic rice production as well as achieve self-sufficiency in the country.
The event which took place at Sheda, Kwali Area Council, Abuja recently was in line with the Federal Government’s mandate to achieve food sufficiency, security and income generation.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, revealed that for the past eight years, his regime had intensively promoted and supported Agricultural development in the country through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, the Grain Aggregation Centres amongst others.
He noted that these programmes demonstrate Federal Government’s commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects and in keeping with the ideals of the Change Agenda which geared towards economic diversification from Oil and Gas to Agricultural Sector.
President Buhari pointed out that “we have witnessed the rapid increase in domestic rice production from the incentives given to farmers and processors over the period as a resolution of leveraging our potentials, producing what we consume and patronize local made products”.
Speaking further, he emphasized that the country’s paddy yield per hectare has significantly increased to the extent of being adequate in the raw material production.
He, therefore, encouraged Nigerian farmers to invest in any aspect of agricultural value chains by using the available incentives, undertake agribusiness to aid food production in the country.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri emphasized that the plant mill commissioned was one of the ten (10) Integrated Rice Mills that President Buhari approved under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model based on the “build, operate and own”.
The Minister commended Messr. Ocean Glory (Development partner) for their full support to ensure the successful delivery of the mill, adding that the successful execution had acted as a catalyst for the speedy delivery of the remaining mills located in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Niger and Ogun states.
He expressed optimism that the remaining nine Rice Mills would be commissioned soon.
In his goodwill message, the representative of FCT Minister, Hon. Secretary, Agric and Rural Development, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim pointed out that the occasion marked a momentous step towards achieving the goal of self-sufficiency in rice production and transforming the agricultural land scale for a great nation.
The President stressed that it is the government’s responsibility to establish additional medium and large-scale processing mills through public-private partnerships. This approach aims to reduce post-harvest losses, diversify agricultural derivatives, and minimize food imports.
Buhari called upon all stakeholders, particularly the management of the mills, to prioritize efficient operations, excellent customer service, and a culture of maintenance within the facility.