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NFGCS acquires high capacity rice processing equipment

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Promises to upscale production

Says govt interventions should go beyond border closure

NFGCS acquires high capacity rice processing equipment

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society, NFGCS, yesterday, disclosed acquiring high capacity rice processing equipment to upscale productivity shortly.

This was made known by the National Coordinator, NFGCS, Mr Redson Tedheke, while speaking on the opportunities agribusiness has for Nigerians based on the 84 million arable hectares of farmland the country possesses, hence no excuse of being hungry, jobless, and poor.

READ ALSO: Jos consumers urge Plateau Govt. to check re-bagging of local rice

Tedheke further stated this is the right time Nigerians should tap into various values in the agricultural sector, which the Cooperative is working assiduously to drive Nigeria on the path of food security, job creation and sustainability.

He said: “So the tour is to remind all our members and show them what is possible, what we have done and ask that more need to be done and drive Nigeria on the path of food security, job sustainability, and above all things creating the opportunity for all Nigerians to become sustainable and viable with regards to family of the upkeep and job opportunities in the agro sector.

“The farm is an eye opener for all that everything is possible when a country has land and people. Nigerians should know that above all things we can change this country from within.

“Nigeria is a country with 84 million arable hectares of farmland and 201 million people. How can you have 84 million arable hectares of farmland and be hungry?

“First and foremost, we are currently short of about 5 million metric tonnes of rice every year. With the closure of border the Federal Government simply made it possible and easier for groups like ours to take that lead to get involved and make things happen.

“We are currently producing 2, 000 25 kg bags of rice in a day. We are moving from 2, 000 25 kg bags of rice in a day to excess on 10, 000 bags of rice every day before the end of the first quarter of 2020.

“We have industrial distoners, with a capacity of destining about three trailer loads of rice in a day, polishers that can polish three trailer loads of rice, whiteners without adding chemicals, graders that separate broken rice, and colour sorters.

“All of this upgrade has increased our capacity to 100 tonnes of rice every day. However, we are discussing with the Federal Ministry of Agric currently to give us two processing mills with capacity of 200 tonnes. By the time the two trailer loads are added we will do about a thousand tonnes of rice in a day, and about 3, 000 tonnes of rice in a month.

READ ALSO: Border Closure: Nigerians now eat fresh, healthy rice — RIFAN

“The farm is an eye opener for all that everything is possible when a country has land and people. Nigerians should know that above all things we can change this country from within.

“Nigeria is a country with 84 million arable hectares of farmland and 201 million people. How can you have 84 million arable hectares of farmland and be hungry?

“First and foremost, we are currently short of about 5 million metric tonnes of rice every year. With the closure of border the Federal Government simply made it possible and easier for groups like ours to take that lead to get involved and make things happen.

“We are currently producing 2, 000 25 kg bags of rice in a day. We are moving from 2, 000 25 kg bags of rice in a day to excess on 10, 000 bags of rice every day before the end of the first quarter of 2020.

“We have industrial distoners, with a capacity of destining about three trailer loads of rice in a day, polishers that can polish three trailer loads of rice, whiteners without adding chemicals, graders that separate broken rice, and colour sorters.

“All of this upgrade has increased our capacity to 100 tonnes of rice every day. However, we are discussing with the Federal Ministry of Agric currently to give us two processing mills with capacity of 200 tonnes. By the time the two trailer loads are added we will do about a thousand tonnes of rice in a day, and about 3, 000 tonnes of rice in a month.

“We are also aggregating paddy rice from all over Nigeria, so opportunities are created for those who are farming rice, those of us who are processing it, and for those who are dealing and selling rice.”

However, the NFGCS boss urged the government to go beyond border closure to come up with more interventions that would further boost productivity of farmers and processors of rice and other agricultural commodities.

“If you don’t shutdown the borders there is no way you will encourage people to go into processing and will not look at it as profitable venture. Look at it under this context, the farmers in Thailand, Singapore, India sells his rice lower than those in Nigeria and ends up making more money because his government subsidizes him, gets cheap loan, policies favour him, and we need those favourable working conditions for our processors to make more money.

“So government came up and said we are no longer importing rice, and it is good one. What is the next thing? Make loans cheaper, make the environment more conducive, make power available, accessible, and affordable. This farm you see operates on diesel every day.

“We spend more than N450, 000 to buy every week. We do not need to bear that cost because if I have light in the farm from Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, and spend N300, 000 to N4, 000 every month on power I am okay. The point is most of these variables need to be solved so we can maximize the potential that is available on closure of borders.

“That is why I said closure of border can add only add three per cent to our Gross Domestic Product, GDP, every year because it gives us the ability to become productive, and when you produce you know there is a market to sell your product”, he added.

vanguard

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