…As 2, 000 farmers benefit from over 10,600 hectares agric project in Edo***
The Kogi Government is set to inaugurate a newly-constructed rice mill worth over N4 billion and with the capacity to produce 50 tonnes of rice per day, just as the Edo Government says 2, 000 farmers will benefit from over 10,600 hectares agricultural project in different parts of the state.
Gov. Yahaya Bello disclosed this on Tuesday during an inspection tour of the mill at Omi dam in Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government Area of the state.
”In 2016, we visited this particular Dam and I promised to establish a rice mill here, and today we have this factory 100 per cent established by Kogi State Government.
”We approached the Federal Government through the Minister for Water Resources, to allow us to use this dam for the benefit of our people.
”Today, we are here to inspect a brand new rice factory that is second to none, as far as northern Nigeria is concerned ,” Bello said.
He said that the factory had the capacity to produce over 1000 bags of 50 kg of high quality rice every day, and could employ over 5000 people as direct labour , and more of indirect employments.
He said that over N300 million would be injected into the economy of the state every month, through the factory, while generating additional over N120 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state, monthly.
”The rice mill will also be producing fish and poultry meals, because we are presently having over 500 fish ponds in this Omi dam.
”We have the capacity to produce cassava and all agro allied products in this particular location,” the governor said.
He stated that the factory had its own independent power generation plant, powered through biomass gasification technology.
According to him, the capacity of the plant is 500 kWh and the rice milling plant capacity at every processing line (shift) is 200kwh.
Bello also said that the plant would have an excess power of 300kwh, which would be used to power strategic locations in neighbouring communities.
”Kogi is situated in the centre of Nigeria. People traveling to North, South, East and West must pass through Kogi, which means we are saddled with lots of responsibilities.
”All that is required now is that the Federal Government through the Central Bank (CBN), should to come to our aid, because we have the capacity to expand this factory in multiple folds.
”Through this factory, we are going to pull many of our people out of abject poverty,” he said.
The governor assured that the rice factory and all other projects in the state would be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari before the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.
The governor further said that his administration had curtailed insecurity to the barest minimum.
He, therefore, urged the people of the state to continue to embrace peace and security and live in harmony with one another, including the Fulanis and other tribes for the development of the state.
”This factory will only exist if we protect, safeguard and cherish it jealously as our own,” he said.
In his remarks, the Obaro of Kabba, Chief Solomon Owoniyi, who spoke on behalf of all traditional rulers in the region, thanked the governor for the gesture, saying the facility was the first of its kind and the best in the whole of the state.
The monarch, however, urged the governor to use his influence and connection with the Presidency to ensure that the Kabba-Ilorin road was rehabilitated for the benefit of the people and the mill.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, commended the governor for the gesture, saying the people of Kogi West would be eternally grateful to him.
Oloruntoba said the rice mill was just the phase one of the project, assuring that the second phase would be provided to have seed production company, so that the state would have a uniform rice facility.
Meanwhile, Edo Government has indicated that no fewer than 2, 000 farmers will benefit from over 10,600 hectares agricultural project in different parts of the state.
The special adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, made this known in a statement in Benin on Tuesday.
Osagie said that the State Government embarked on a multi-faceted agricultural development scheme backed by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Elephant Group, and a number of other off-takers.
The Governor’s Aide said that the priority crops planted included cassava, maize and rice, which were being cultivated in the state.
He said that mechanised farming was being deployed to ensure that planting process was not tedious and to get optimal yield.
Osagie said rice farming was currently ongoing in Iguoriakhi, Iguomon, Illushi, Agenebode and Warake while maize farms were in Ekpoma, Usugbenu and Sobe.
According to him, there is an off-taker agreement and the project intends to harvest 17,000 metric tonnes of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land and 11,000 tonnes of maize by cultivating 6,600 hectares of land at the end of the planting season of 2019.
“Off-takers are on ground to buy off the produce, so farmers are assured of buyers for their produce.
He said that not less than 2,000 farmers were expected to benefit from the agricultural project as farmers were being trained to maintain standards set by agricultural extension officers engaged in the scheme.
Osagie added that the agricultural scheme was outside the plan for Dufil’s investment to develop 5,000 hectares of palm plantation in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry Programme, Prince Joe Okojie, said that the state government was leveraging on the Central Bank of Nigeria to drive its agricultural programmes.
Okojie said: “We got N5 billion under the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme, about N2.2 billion is for crop production, N2.3 billion for land development and about N100 million for irrigation.