Youth rice project will create wealth, says Dangote Group
The creation of wealth in the grassroots as a sure means of stimulating Nigeria’s economy is one of the motivations behind investments by the Dangote Group.
Group Executive Director and Coordinator of Dangote Rice Project, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, said this when he hosted some Iseyin chiefs and community leaders led by the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiyu Salawudeen Adekunle, Ajinase 1, in his office in Lagos.
The Community leaders from Oyo State, had come to show appreciation to the Group for choosing Iseyin for the multi-million-Naira Youth Rice Farm project being undertaken by the Africa’s foremost entrepreneur, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Edwin said in a statement from the company that the project was a deliberate business decision to empower the youths at the grassroots, especially as the youths who are more than half of Nigeria’s population are mostly unemployed.
Edwin explained that many of the ills plaguing Nigeria could be attributed to youth’s joblessness, for which the rice farm is set to address, given the federal government’s economic diversification drive through the agriculture sector, to achieve food self-sufficiency, while also making it a major foreign exchange earner.
He said the rice farm is modelled after the out-grower scheme, to launch the youths back into farming with the assurance of assistance to making farming less-cumbersome, less-stressful, and profitable.
He further noted that the rice project had been successfully launched in Kogi and Jigawa states, adding that: “It’s a pure out-grower scheme, where Dangote Rice Company provides inputs like seedlings, chemicals, and fertilizers for the youths to prepare the land, cultivate the rice paddy, which it buys from them at prevailing market rate.”
He also disclosed that the youths are paid stipend to keep body and soul together for the period of the cultivation and harvest, to stimulate their interest in the dedicated project.
Responding, the Aseyin commended Edwin for the initiative, and particularly the choice of Iseyin for the start of the agric projects, and prayed God to reward the Company for its investments.
Oba Adekunle explained that his presence in the Dangote Office in Lagos, is to show appreciation and to encourage the Company to increase its investments, and explore other opportunities that abound in Iseyin, given its in irresistible vast arable lands.
The Monarch thereafter conferred on Edwin, the traditional title of Seluro of Iseyin as a token of appreciation for current investment in the land, adding that his people would be more than pleased to receive Alhaji Dangote, to help them develop other areas of the ancient town.
Recall that in 2014, Dangote launched an ambitious rice investment with the objective to reduce importation of rice into Nigeria, and to be the largest farming operation in the world by 2020, with capacity in excess of 150,000 ha of land spread across five states.