President Muhammadu Buhari, has inaugurated a large-scale integrated rice mill in line with the government’s commitment to achieving food sufficiency and enhancing the agricultural sector.
The commissioning ceremony, which took place in Sheda, Kwali area council, Abuja, marked a significant step towards expanding domestic rice production and attaining self-sufficiency in Nigeria.
Representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar highlighted the government’s efforts in promoting agricultural development over the past eight years. Programmes such as the Anchor Borrower’s Programme and the Grain Aggregation Centres have played a vital role in driving the country’s agricultural sector and aligning with the goals of economic diversification.
President Buhari acknowledged the substantial increase in domestic rice production resulting from the government’s support and incentives provided to farmers and processors. He emphasised the importance of leveraging Nigeria’s agricultural potential, producing what is consumed domestically and supporting locally made products.
The president also encouraged Nigerian farmers to invest in various aspects of the agricultural value chain, take advantage of available incentives and engage in agribusiness to boost food production in the country.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri, emphasised that the commissioned rice mill was one of the 10 integrated rice mills approved by President Buhari under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
These mills, operated under the “build, operate, and own” framework, aim to enhance rice processing capacity. He expressed his appreciation to Messr. Ocean Glory, the development partner, for their support in successfully delivering the mill and anticipated the prompt commissioning of the remaining mills in other states.
In his goodwill message, the representative of the FCT Minister highlighted the significance of the occasion in progressing towards rice self-sufficiency and transforming the agricultural landscape of the nation. He emphasised the establishment of a state-of-the-art rice mill equipped with cutting-edge technology, which would reduce reliance on imported rice and create a sustainable supply chain for the domestic market.
The ceremony included the cutting of the tape, the commissioning of the project and an inspection of the rice mill by the representative of President Muhammadu Buhari, honourable ministers and other dignitaries. The event was attended by representatives of the Etsu Kwali, the FCT Minister, the Minister of Information and Culture, stakeholders, top management staff of the ministry and other notable figures.