Posted by News Express | 23 February 2015 | 3,404 times
The Dangote Group has expressed optimism that with its ongoing agricultural projects across the country, Nigeria is on its way to being self-sufficient in food production.
The Group in a statement issued this morning in Lagos reiterated its determination to support the Federal Government in its effort to revolutionise the agricultural sector and make Nigeria self-dependence in the areas of food production.
Reputed to be the single largest private sector employer of labour in Nigeria, Dangote Group is currently investing in fertilizer, rice, tomato paste and sugar production, among others. It is also building a 650,000 bpd petroleum refinery which will be the single largest in the world.
Only last year the Group signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to invest $1billion for the establishment of fully integrated rice production and processing operations across the country.
The statement said the MoU and the planned investment are a response to government reforms of the Agricultural Transforming Agenda (ATA) launched in 2011.
The statement said the Group has acquired farmlands in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Niger States totaling 150,000 hectares to be used for commercial production of rice paddy.
It added that the company will also establish two modern large-scale mills each with capacity to mill 120,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy, while doubling the capacity within two years.
This, according to the statement, will become the single largest investment in rice production in Africa. It said that the rice plants are estimated to produce 960,000 metric tonnes, representing 46 per cent of total rice imported into Nigeria.
News Express recalls that Group President Aliko Dangote had said during the signing of the MoU that Nigeria “is capable of producing rice that can feed the whole of West African sub-region.”
A statement from the Dangote Group also said it is investing in tomato paste production in Kano, as well as a $2 billion fertilizer projects in Edo State.
The statement disclosed that the Group’s foray into agriculture and food processing business began in 1997 when it keyed into the backward integration policy of the government in sugar sub-sector of the nation’s economy.
•Photo shows Dangote Group President Aliko Dangote.
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