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Grassroots wealth creation pushing Dangote Group to rice farming—Edwin

The Group Executive Director and Coordinator of Dangote Rice Project (DRP), Mr. Devakumar Edwin has given fresh insights on why Dangote Group is venturing into large scale rice farming and production.
Business Hilights recalls that Dangote Group had in 2014, launched the Dangote Rice Project; an ambitious rice investment with the objective to reduce importation of rice into Nigeria and to be the largest farming operation in the world by 2020, with capacity in excess of 150,000 ha of land spread across five states.
Speaking during a recent visit by Iseyin chiefs and community leaders led by the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiyu Salawudeen Adekunle, Ajinase 1, in his office in Lagos, he noted that “The creation of wealth in the grassroots as a sure means of stimulating Nigeria’s economy is one of the motivations behind investments by the Dangote Group”.
Continuing, he told the Community leaders from Oyo State, had come to show appreciation to the Group for choosing Iseyin for the multi-million-Naira Youth Rice Farm project being undertaken by the Africa’s foremost entrepreneur, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Edwin added that the project was a deliberate business decision to empower the youths at the grassroots, especially as the youths who are more than half of Nigeria’s population are mostly unemployed.
While explaining that many of the ills plaguing Nigeria could be attributed to youth’s joblessness, for which the rice farm is set to address, given the federal government’s economic diversification drive through the agriculture sector, to achieve food self-sufficiency, he stressed that Dangote Rice Project is modelled after the out-grower scheme, to launch the youths back into farming with the assurance of assistance to making farming less-cumbersome, less-stressful, and profitable.
Revealing that the rice project had been successfully launched in Kogi and Jigawa states, Edwin said “It’s a pure out-grower scheme, where Dangote Rice Company provides inputs like seedlings, chemicals, and fertilizers for the youths to prepare the land, cultivate the rice paddy, which it buys from them at prevailing market rate.”
He disclosed further that the participating youths are paid stipend to keep body and soul together for the period of the cultivation and harvest, to stimulate their interest in the dedicated project.
In his remarks, the Aseyin commended Dangote Rice Project for the initiative, and for choosing Iseyin for the start of the agric projects, and prayed God to reward the Company for its investments.
The Monarch thereafter conferred on Edwin, the traditional title of Seluro of Iseyin as a token of appreciation for current investment in the land, adding that his people would be more than pleased to receive Alhaji Dangote, to help them develop other areas of the ancient town.