Protocols and Salutations
We are extremely delighted to welcome each one of you today to the commissioning of our integrated rice mill at Argungu, Kebbi State.
The rice mill being the first to be conceived and constructed in this administration, is also the largest parboiled rice mill in Africa.
This state-of-the-art rice mill with a capital outlay of over =N= 10 Billion capable of processing over 120,000 metric tonnes of paddy per annum will create over 3,500 direct and indirect jobs. Your Excellencies, WACOT participates in the entire rice value chain, from seed multiplication and improving farming practices – to processing, branding and distribution. As we increase capacity, we will be off taking paddy from over 50,000 rice farmers.
Our business model focuses on sustainability and we believe that farmers are entrepreneurs. In our agricultural businesses globally, our supply chain is predominantly driven by out-grower farmers.
To ensure we achieve quality consistency in the supply of our raw materials, we invest in building the capacity of farmers through farmer business schools. We have trained over 5,000 small-holder rice farmers on good farming practices, financial management, production cost optimization and yield enhancement techniques. We also engage with the farmers through our demonstration farms – working closely with them from seed to yield.
We are sure that our investments will not only increase farmers’ incomes and livelihoods, but will also go a long way in meeting the Government’s goal of job creation through economic diversification.
We are strong believers in this administration’s vision of attaining food self-sufficiency. The impact of the interventions targeted at the numerous aspects of the agricultural value chain through institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria amongst others, has been invaluable. We believe that Nigeria can and should not only feed itself, but can also export its surplus production to other countries. It has been done before. And there is nothing stopping us from doing it again.
Therefore, for us this is just the beginning. We have plans to invest over =N= 100 billion over the next years in various agricultural value chains.
Vote of Thanks:
On a final note, we would like to say a big thank you to Your Excellency, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Governor of Kebbi State, our governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, the Governors of other states, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Gwandu, Our father, the Emir of Argungu, the people of Kebbi State, our financial partners and other dignitaries, who have supported us all through this journey.
We are grateful that you have joined us on this very special day. For us, this is a source of encouragement to do more. And Your Excellencies, we assure you that we will do much more.
Thank you very much.