• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos projects 6 months for ‘Lake Rice’ to hit market

Akinwunmi-Ambode

Sanni Okanlawon, special adviser to governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, on food security, has projected that the ‘Lake Rice’ to be produced via the joint venture between Lagos and Kebbi State would be in the market six months from now.

The two states signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March this year, to boost local rice production towards making Nigeria less dependent on imported rice. Under the MoU, much of the cultivation would be done in Kebbi, which is blessed with vast arable land, while the milling of the rice paddy will be handled at Imota, Ikorodu, where Lagos is seeking to upgrade its existing 2.5 million metric tons (mmt) capacity rice mill to 20mmt per hour.

The 2.5mmt rice mill was established by the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola in 2012, but abandoned all too sudden due to technical hitches.

“We have collaborated with Kebbi State in commodity value chain production like rice, wheat, groundnut, sorghum and livestock. We have started with rice; Kebbi is the largest producer of rice paddy and we have the capacity to mill them at our milling plant in Imota. In the next six months, we will have Lagos-Kebbi rice in the market, which we have branded ‘Lake Rice,’’ Okanlawon said.

The special adviser said the rice would have been available in the market by now, but delayed for some technical problems the milling plant had.
According to Okanlawon, the challenge is being attended to and the plant would be up and running soon.

He said the state government would soon add 20mmt per hour to the 2.5mmt Imota rice milling plant, as “we are scaling our 2.5mmt to 22.5mmt; an additional 20mmt per hour will be established very soon.
“The 2.5mmt mill had some technical challenges right and it is being fixed; the same Mexican contracting firm (San Carlos Ltd.) is also building the 20mmt for a start.