Dangote Industries Limited invests $1bn in commercial rice production and processing in Nigeria

Photo credit: Flickr, Philippine Rice Research

Africa’s major business conglomerate Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has signed an MOU with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to establish fully integrated rice production and processing operations across fives states in Nigeria – Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, and Niger.

Dangote Industries Ltd will invest $1billion (N165 billion) in the project. A total of 150,000 hectares of farmland in the five states has been acquired by Dangote which will be used for commercial production of rice paddy. Apart from this, Dangote plans two state-of-the-art large-scale rice mills with a capacity to process 240,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy. The capacity is planned to be doubled within two years.

The rice plant is expected to produce 960,000 metric tons of mill rice, which will be about 46 per cent of rice imported into Nigeria. It will be the largest single investment ever made in rice production in Africa, with the installed capacity.

Nigeria expects this project will help produce international quality grade rice and enhance its prospects of becoming a major rice exporter. Nigeria, currently imports rice to meet demand.

Nigeria’s rice self-sufficiency policy aims at saving N356billion annually. The country has already witnessed an increase in the number of rice mills from just one in 2011 to 18 by 2014. All these mills process local paddy into high quality finished rice. The Nigerian rice is already available in the local market in brands such as Quarra Rice, Umza rice, Ebony super rice, Eko rice, Mikap rice, Ashi rice, Queen of the Niger and Mama’s Pride.

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