AGRIC

Kebbi commends WACOT rice for expansion project

Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, has commended Tropical General Investments Group’s subsidiary, WACOT Rice Limited, for boosting the government’s food security drive.

According to a statement issued on Sunday, the company received a $10.5m investment partnership boost from the United States Agency for International Development-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub.

This was for its Argungu Rice Outgrower Expansion Project based in Kebbi State.

Bagudu said the state government was pleased that the efforts of the Federal Government in agricultural revolution was being recognised by international bodies such as USAID and WATIH.

The governor, who is the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council and National Champion on Nigeria Rice Revolution noted that the support was a big boost for private sector investment in the Nigerian agriculture sector.

He said, “Through this partnership, WACOT Rice will bring into its outgrower network an additional 5,143 farmers to complement its already existing setup in the state.

“The new farmers are expected to cultivate over 5,000 more hectares of land and produce over 20,000 tonnes of paddy which will be utilised at WACOT Rice’s 120,000-ton rice mill in Kebbi.”

The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, described the partnership and the investment by WACOT Rice as a welcome and timely development as it was coming shortly after the farmers experienced devastating flood.

“It is a win-win situation for our farmers, the state government and the people of the state generally,” the traditional ruler said.

USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson said, “The US government is pleased to partner with the private sector in Nigeria to develop market-driven solutions and sustainably improve food security by supporting local rice production.”

She added that with the new co-investment partnership, smallholders in Kebbi State could increase yields and improve the livelihoods of their families.

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