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Firm unveils N1 billion rice milling factory in Abuja


Al-Andalus Rice has launched a new rice mill in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory to complement government’s efforts to attain self sufficiency in rice production.

Chief executive officer of the firm, Henry Chibuzo Ekwugha said the mill would process 150 metric tons per day.

Ekwugha said the rice mill would create employment opportunities for over 500 youths both directly and indirectly, saying this is the time young people need to take over agriculture due to the opportunities available in the sector.

He said it was important for the private sector to complement governments efforts at resuscitating the economy by investing in areas that would create jobs and drive economic growth.

According to him, the mill would assist the country to meet the domestic demand for high-quality parboiled rice and attain self-sufficiency in rice production.

Ekwugha, while noting that the mill is working towards achieving 1,000 metric tons daily in the coming years, lamented that the running cost of the mill is the major challenge they face as they spend a minimum of N100,000 on diesel daily.

“We decided to go into technology based production because a lot of people complain about Nigerian rice due to some of the milling processes,” he said.

Speaking on the challenges involved in sourcing paddy for milling, he said the firm will be setting up offices in about eight northern states where they will source paddy directly from farmers.

On why he started the establishment of the mill in the FCT, he said said a lot of rice consumed in Abuja come from the northeast and west due to lack of functional rice mills at the north central region.

“We plan to expand this mill across the country to create more employment because we have all it takes to process the best rice in Nigeria,” Ekwugha said.

“Our target is the Nigerian and international market because we have the best rice.

“The federal government is willing to support rice farmers and processors. This is why we have overtaken Egypt as the largest rice producer in Africa and all we need to do is to be sincere in what we are doing to sustain what is already on ground.”

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