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Why bank finances rice mills

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A typical rice mill

A typical rice mill

Sterling Bank Plc said its decision to finance the multi-billion naira Labana Rice Mills, billed to become one of the largest rice mills in Africa, was part of efforts to support the Federal Government’ agriculture policy and need to guarantee food security.
 
Besides, the assessed urgency in developing the non-oil sector for increased revenue to government and conserving the nation’s foreign exchange reserves being spent on agricultural products’ importation call for concerted efforts.
 
The bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Yemi Adeola, noted that between January 2012 and May 2015, the country has spent over $2.41 billion (about N482 billion) on rice importation alone.
  
He also noted that the mass production of rice locally will go a long way to conserving the country’s foreign exchange and reduce demand pressure in the foreign exchange market.
 
Labana Global Ventures, the owner of the rice mill, is one of the 17 companies granted approval to participate in the Federal Government’s Rice Processing Intervention Scheme under a Public-Private Partnership.
  
Adeola disclosed that the Bank has already financed a state of the art soya bean oil milling plant as well as major agrochemical and fertilizer companies in the country. 
 
He pointed out that the financial institution has also financed various poultry projects and built capacity by providing advice to poultry farmers on best production performance methodologies.
 
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, while commissioning the mill  in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, commended Sterling Bank for its contributions to the development of the sector and its alignment with the goals of the current administration in the area of agriculture.


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