• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Joseph Agro Industries to invest $150m in rice production in Anambra


Joseph Agro Industries Limited (JAI) has signed a backward integration memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Anambra State government to invest an initial $150 million (N25bn) for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Omor Rice Mill under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

In a statement, Ken Irhiogbe, executive director, JAI, said China Machinery Equipment Corporation (CMEC), a leading global EPC provider, had been appointed technical partners to support in up-scaling the mill’s current capacity of 18,000 metric tons to an initial 100,000 metric tons, development of 14000 hectares of land into irrigated paddy fields and construction of a green energy bio mass power plant in Omor, using rice husk as feedstock.

As part of its long-term strategic objective to ensure sustainability through technology transfer, the company will collaborate with the Confucius Institute, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, to produce Chinese speaking Nigerian students to understudy best rice technology practice. Explaining further, he highlighted that JAI’s objective was to produce 167,000 metric tons of rice paddies using two cropping seasons, while another 15,000 hectares was under negotiation, for development into highly irrigated rice paddy fields.

In his address, Willie Obiano, governor, Anambra State, commended Joseph Agro Industries Limited for their support of the state government’s cardinal points and objectives for agriculture and also in the process providing job opportunities for over 10,000 indigenes by using the out growers scheme. This development, according to the governor, will greatly enhance the economic development of the state and Nigeria.

He emphasised that with the progress already made by the state in rice production, “this project will almost eliminate the state’s supply deficit.” The governor observed that the completion of the project will translate to accelerated development of human and technical capacity which will in turn enhance rice production in the state, noting that with the project coming on-stream, it will have direct impact on the growth of internally generated revenue for the state.

Iheanyi Nwachukwu