The management of Popular Farms and Mills Limited, a subsidiary of Stallion group has invested over $70 million to boost production of varieties of agricultural produces especially on paddy rice and sesame in Nigeria, as to enhance economic fortune of the country.
The Managing Director, Popular Farms and Mills based in Kano, Mr. Amit Kumar Rai, disclosed this at the weekend, during the 7th annual supply chain meeting of stakeholders and workers.
He declared that the group was targeting 1.50 million tons of paddy per annual in Nigeria through the setting up of additional milling facilities.
Ral, said the focus of the group was to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production.
“In the course of its interaction and integration services, the company entered into an MOU, with over 1,151 cooperative groups, having 41,486 member-farmers as well as 65,715 hectares of rice farm area, with an installed milling capacity of 430 metric tonnes per annum and projected a capacity of 44,000 tons,” he said.
According to him, the company has also fulfilled its commitment to spend a dedicated budget, toward achieving expansion of rice and sesame value-chain backward integration initiative, in association with various partners.
“Our plan is to spearhead and lead the Nigerian rice revolution to self-sufficiency in rice production. We intend to achieve this through training to over 24, 264 rice out growers across the producing states and cooperatives, as well as empowering women and youths in the rice value chain.’
”To sustain our vision statement of ensuring genetic integrity of rice, we have introduced fairly priced certified ‘popular seeds’ for our valuable stakeholders.
“We have collaborated National Agricultural Seeds Council for the purpose of producing and satisfying the locally released and grown genetic seeds.
”The company is leveraging on the policy impetus provided by the federal government through its Green alternative agricultural agenda. This enabled us to have upgraded our local rice milling capacity to 430,000 metric tons per annum,” he added.
The Managing Director added that the company, which has been operating for about 50 years in the country was one of the largest automated rice milling unit in the country, with an annual installed milling capacity of 150,000 metric tons, with direct contact of 35,000 farmers.
”We also feel proud to announce that we have already inaugurated it by laying foundation stone of the expanded farm land and in the next one month, the sesame processing and cleaning facility would be operational at our Challawa, Kano unit.