Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group is set to launch a multi-million naira 25,000 hectares of rice outgrower scheme in Sokoto state with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural inhabitants.
President of the Group, Aliko Dangote disclosed at the weekend that the Company will on Wednesday, flag off with a pilot project of 500 ha by Gonroyo dam, in Goronyo community.
The flag off ceremony which will be performed by the governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa will witness seedlings being distributed to the primary local farmers who will in turn plant the seed after which Dangote Rice company will purchase from them for milling and final processing.
Also the Dangote Rice projects in the 14 states, when, operational, will generate a significant number of jobs and increase take-home income for smallholder farmers, all while diversifying Nigeria’s economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill.
Meanwhile, statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million MT in 2015, with only 2.3 million MT of that demand satisfied by local production.
However with this development, by end of 2017, Dangote Rice will have 25,000 Ha under rice cultivation across 3 sites in Northern Nigeria having identified rice-growing communities in Jigawa State (5,000 Ha), Sokoto State (10,000 Ha) and Zamfara State (10,000 Ha).
By year-end 2017, Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 MT of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow us to satisfy 4% of the total market demand within 1 year. Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16% of the domestic market demand for rice over the next 5 years.
Further, through the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme, DRL will partner with outgrowers (smallholder and contract rice farmers) to cultivate and grow rice paddy. Specifically, DRL will provide inputs, technical assistance, extension services and land preparation services and equipment directly to farmers.
At harvest, DRL will recoup the costs of inputs and services in-kind and will act as a guaranteed offtaker for paddy that meets certain pre-agreed quality standards. Smallholder farmers will provide land and labour.
Sokoto state is the second after Jigawa out of the 14 states spread across the state where Dangote Rice plans to operate outgrower scheme to empower local farmers and create job opportunities for community dwellers and reduce migration to the cities. Gonroyo dam is the second largest in the country, after Kainji.