Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote on Thursday laid a foundation stone for the construction of a multi-billion Naira rice processing mill in Hadin, Jigawa state. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Hadin, Kaugama local government area, Dangote said the commencement of the construction of the integrated rice processing plant was the culmination of series of events which began with the signing of a $1 billion agreement with the federal government for the integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa.
“We have continued to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrowers programme thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers. Also, creating access to finance, mechanization and irrigation services so as to enhance agricultural productivity. “We are focused on engaging in the region of 300,000 farmers in the next 12 months when our rice mills are all functional and we achieve steady state.
“We will continue to launch massive agricultural projects across the country in rice and dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of $4.6 billion over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone. That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported materials, and the foreign exchange headaches that comes with it,” Dangote said. Meanwhile, Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru expressed delight at the stage of the Dangote Rice project in the state, saying it was in line with the vision of the Invest Jigawa, an organ set up to accelerate investments in the state.