Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi says the state will work together with farmers and millers under the Federal Government’ Anchor Borrower Programme to deliver local rice below N10,000 per bag.
The governor gave the assurances Sunday night in Birnin Kebbi at a dinner hosted in honour of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
The minister is on a two-day working visit to Kebbi with a team of journalists to showcase and assess the government’s agricultural revolution.
Mr. Bagudu who commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government policy on rice called for more investments by the public and private sector.
The governor said that the mobilisation of 70,000 farmers and N11 billion spent on the pilot scheme had yielded so much dividends and attracted national and global attention to the state.
He said in addition to the two major rice milling factories – Labana and Walcot – , there were so many small and medium scale millers springing up in the state.
Mr. Bagudu disclosed that Labana and Walcot rice milling factories had N55 billion demand for paddy.
The governor also disclosed that the Dangote group recently visited him and were concluding plans to set up a rice milling factory in the state.
He said the partnership between Kebbi and Lagos states on rice value chain that produced the Lake rice had solved the challenge of glut by providing ready made market for farmers.
The governor, who is the Chairman Presidential Task Force Committee on Rice and Wheat Production, noted that the level of investment in the state had proved that agriculture is the easiest sector for diversification
He said the huge investments had also shown the confidence the investing community had in the Buhari administration.
For his part, the minister appreciated the governor for honouring him and members of his entourage.
He said Kebbi’s goal is to be a trailblazer in using the Anchor Borrowing Programme to transform the agriculture sector.
Mr. Mohammed said the programme aimed at food production, job creation, income generation and self sufficiency had been a tremendous success the state.
The minister said he led the media to the state to show to the world that the government agriculture policy is working and yielding results contrary to the claims of naysayers.
Besides agriculture, the state commissioners gave score cards of the giant strides of the governor in roads, health, infrastructure development, culture and information technology.