• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo


Kebbi govt partners WACOT Rice to boost domestic rice production

WACOT Rice completes Argungu out-grower expansion programme

The Kebbi state government has partnered with WACOT Rice Nigeria Limited to boost domestic rice production under the Promoting Rice Fortification in Nigeria (PRiFN) project.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, Neeraj Kumar, the managing director of WACOT Rice said that the project aims to support the realization of the federal government’s goal of fortifying rice as part of the national strategy for combating micronutrient deficiency in the country.

For him, WACOT Rice Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, remains committed to producing quality and nutritious rice to meet Nigeria’s needs.

He said, “The successful pilot of the rice fortification project is a significant stride towards a healthier, stronger Nigeria. We are immensely proud to have played a central role in this initiative to bring fortified rice to Nigerians.

“On the project, the Kebbi State Government worked with WACOT Rice, producers of Big Bull Rice and Patriot, among others, to demonstrate the feasibility of rice fortification in the country.”

Read also: WACOT Rice Limited boosts Nigeria’s food security, distributes agri-inputs to farmers in Kebbi

He assured that WACOT Rice, which has made tremendous contributions to Kebbi state under its corporate social responsibility projects, would continue to boost Nigeria’s food security.

In his remarks, Umar Abubakar, the deputy Governor of Kebbi State, reaffirmed the commitment to forging strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the fortification value chain.

He said, “This stakeholder partnership aims to enhance the value of rice production through micronutrient fortification, resulting in multiple victories for our state. Not only does this endeavour boost local production and economic development, but it also promotes the consumption of nutritionally enriched food.”

Read also: WACOT Rice signs new deal with LASG to manage Imota Rice Mill

In his remarks, David Stevenson, the country director, World Food Programme (WFP), commended the government for Nigeria’s home-grown school feeding program, adding that fortifying rice within this initiative, led by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, is essential to unlocking children’s full potential.

“Nigeria loses an estimated $1.5 billion of GDP annually to micronutrient deficiencies, as per the World Bank. Kudos to Kebbi State for introducing fortified rice into the school feeding program, reaching vulnerable children and young girls.

“With the successful launch, fortified rice will become a potent tool in Nigeria’s fight against malnutrition. It will also be integrated into the school feeding programmes in Kebbi State,” he said.