• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


Nigeria inches closer to rice sufficiency as Buhari commissions Imota Mill

Buhari’s rice ‘success’ faces quality, pricing hurdles

Nigeria’s capacity for rice production got a boost on Monday as the Lagos State Imota Rice Mill production facility in Ikorodu was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The mill is expected to improve the country’s capacity for producing local parboiled rice. The mill also targets becoming the leading producer of premium brands in the market.

It will contribute towards eliminating importation and smuggling of imported parboiled rice as the country eyes sufficiency in the production of the grain, which according to the United States Department of Agriculture has reached five million tons in 2022.

With this production figure, Nigeria still has a deficit of two million tonnes per annum with demand at seven million tonnes. Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial centre, consumes two million metric tonnes of rice annually.

“The Imota Rice Mill is an effort by Lagos State to support the country’s rice revolution,” Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State said at the commissioning. “It will create jobs and help drive sustainable growth and we are glad to be part of the country’s agricultural revolution.”

Read also: Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange set to onboard Imota Rice receipts for trading

The rice mill, standing on an area of 8.5 hectare of land has been built with an annual paddy requirement of over 240,000 metric tonnes to produce 2.5 million bags of 50kg bags of rice yearly, while generating 250,000 direct and indirect jobs to Lagosians.

Imota Rice Mill is the largest in Africa and the third largest in the world, with an installed capacity of 32 metric tonnes per hour.

Rice production has dominated the discourse in the Buhari led administration’s agricultural sector revolution since coming into power in 2015.

The sector is critical to the economic growth and development of Nigeria as it will not only enhance the diversification and integration of the economy, but also become a major source of foreign exchange earner for the country.