Dangote relying on Cement success story to deepens rice backward integration policy
Leading industrialist and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has flagged off Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State with the target of driving national backward integration in rice production.
It would be recalled that Dangote Cement, in collaboration with other national cement conglomerates successfully delivered backward integration policy in cement production which lead to saturation of local markets with local cement, thus ending importation of the product.
Addressing Nigerians during the launch of the scheme in Sokoto, he decried that Nigeria consumes 6.5 million tonnes of rice, which costs over $2bn annually.
While commending the Federal Government for focusing on a policy direction that encouraged private sector’s active participation in agriculture and mainly rice production, Dangote said, “Buoyed by the policy direction of the Federal Government, we at Dangote decided to key into this by establishing Dangote Rice Limited, to partner states to redress the present situation where a huge sum of forex is spent on importation of rice”.
“This scheme will help to diversify the economy, alleviate poverty and reduce the nation’s import bill. The scheme has been designed as a one-stop solution for the rice value chain.”
The event was witnessed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar. Farmers were presented with rice seeds, fertilisers, nets among others. The scheme is expected to provide job for over 16,000 rice farmers.
In his remarks, the Dangote Rice Project Director, Robert Coleman, said the Sokoto operation was a demonstration phase to familiarise the farming community with the programme, train extension workers, lead farmers and test modern technologies.
Commenting on the Outgrowers scheme, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State expressed delight at the event, saying the coming of Dangote to invest in the state was as a result of his sustained effort towards inviting prospective investors to the state. Farmers were presented with rice seeds, fertilisers, nets among others. The scheme is expected to provide job for over 16,000 rice farmers.
Explaining how they felt. the National President of Rice Farmers Association, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo described the scheme as one of the potential means of making rice available at low cost to the people, saying his members will rely on the scheme to expand output.