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Springfield Agro, RiceCo seal pact on seed technology for rice value-chain


Rice_Farming_NigeriaSpringfield Agro Limited, a subsidiary of Kwalram-Chanrai group, has sealed a pact with Rice Co to provide seed technology to aid the growth of the country’s agribusiness, especially, in the rice value-chain.

According to the firms, the partnership is designed to encourage investors and farmers in the rice value chain to improve their yields and aid entrepreneurial drive using modern bio-technology for crop production.

Under the partnership, RiceCo through Springfield Agro will provide the rice industry with crop protection products like rice-specific herbicides, such as propanil flowables for grass and broadleaf weed control; resistance management tools; water-based reduced drift and no odour formulation that offers contact and residual activity on various grasses, broadleaf weeds, and sedges.

Speaking at the formal unveiling of the partnership in Lagos, recently, Director, Rice Co, Pinky Ghosh explained that the focus on rice is geared towards helping farmers and investors get better value for their investments in the rice value-chain.

She said: “Our job is to basically provide the best solutions to rice farmers across the world. To provide a complete solution and help rice yields. RiceCo company belongs to a big conglomerate called UPL limited, which is the parent company among the top team agrochemicals over the world worth about $2 billion. The company is focused on new products and basic research on products.

“Like our company is working on rice, UPL is focusing on other agrochemical products. As a group we are partnering with Springfield, an entity that will be our face to the market in Nigeria. This altogether means we would provide complete solutions for the Nigerian farmers.

“We focus on rice because it is considered a poor man’s crop all over the world. Nobody wants to invest in rice in every country we go. But if you look at the population of the world today, it is like the world needs food and world’s biggest food that you can offer is rice. Our objective is basically to take food from paddy to plate.

“For Africa, we have been trying to expand and see an opportunity where we can collaborate and bring value on the table. We don’t want to be a company who will just dump products at prices that basically does not bring solutions. Our objective is to basically ensure that whatever we are bringing on the table should help the farmers here either it’s a solution where the farmers could pay less and get value and also on productivity improvement.

If you look at the productivity of rice today in Nigeria, it is about three metric tonnes per hectare, lower than the global average of four metric tonnes per hectare.

“Currently we provide solutions to South America, Mexico and Asia. Countries like USA, Colombia have eight to ten tonnes, which means Nigerian farmers are losing out a lot of money. And possibly Nigeria would not need to import rice. With that objective in mind, we basically want to bring solutions to the rice farmers here and something to control the diseases here and solutions to increase the productivity of farmers”.

On his part, Director, Springfield Agro, Victor Eburajolo noted that the partnership will be sustained while further areas of collaboration will be explored, adding that the partnership will explore the provision of technical solutions and knowledge-sharing among the parties.

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