The Niger State GovernmentÂ is collaborating with the Korean International Cooperation Agency to establish a modern rice processing factory worth 200 million dollars at Bida.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Aminu Yusuf, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Sunday.
YusufÂ said that all the necessary components of the factory had arrived in the country and that installation would start in June.
To ensure regular and adequate supply of paddy toÂ the factory, he said the government had identified and carried out studies on how to revitalise the various irrigation schemes in the state.
He said that on completion, the factory would provide direct job to more thanÂ 5,000 people and 2,000 rice farming families in the state.
He further said the government ensure regular supply of inputs to rice farmers to boost production.
The commissionerÂ also said the BaddegiÂ Rice mill, which had remained idle for the past 16 years, had been resuscitated and concessioned to a Nigerian company under a Public_Private_Partnership arrangement.
He said that the mill was concessioned to create a ready market to absorb the anticipated â€œmassiveâ€Â paddyÂ production.According to him, more than 30,000 tonnes of paddy would be added to the national processing capacity yearly when the mill becomes fully operational.
Mr Shehu Dikko, the Managing Director, Deansheranger Project Limited, the concessionaire, told NAN that efforts were on to add two additional milling lines to increase the processing capacity from the currentÂ 30,000 tonnesÂ to 100,000 tonnes annually before the end of 2010.
He said the company had also embarked on extension programme to support and encourage farmers to produce high quality paddy.