By Isa Lapai, Minna
An agency, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has handed over a modern integrated rice milling facility in Bida to Niger State Government.
The handover ceremony which took place in Bida, yesterday according to Mrs Sook Hyun Park, KOICA’s Country Director, started in 2008, and has the capacity of processing 1.5 tonnes of rice per hour (1.5t/h) with parboiling, drying, sorting and packaging facilities and can be increased to 3.0t/h.
Speaking at the occasion the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Noh Kyu-duk
stated that the project was part of South Korea’s effort in assisting Nigeria in its effort to diverse her economy into agriculture.
Statistic shows that Nigeria is producing approximately 5 Million tonnes of rice annually and import estimated 3 million tonnes of to meet demands.
An estimated N356 billion is spent on rice importation in Nigeria annually, making the nation rank among the top 12 rice consuming countries in the world.
It is expected that the facility will not only assist the local rice farmer and millers in Bida, and boost creation of jobs for thousands of unemployed youth it will also contribute to helping Nigeria become self-sufficient in rice production and stop importation of rice from other rice-producing countries.
As key stakeholders, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Niger State Agricultural Mechanisation Agency (NAMDA) were fully involved in the implementation of the project and the facility will be manage by NAMDA.