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Niger leads in paddy production but lack enough rice milling companies – Bago

Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has lamented that despite the fact the state was rated as a leading producer of paddy rice, the rice…

Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has lamented that despite the fact the state was rated as a leading producer of paddy rice, the rice mills in the state were nothing to write home about.

Bago stated this at a dinner organised at the end of a two-day retreat by the state for House of Representatives Press Corp at the Government House Minna.

The governor, who declared that the era where people take rice paddy out of the state for almost free was over, saying that a Memorandum of Understanding between the state government and one of the leading rice mills in Nigeria, Gerawa Rice Mill, was in the offing.

“I went for peer review recently in Kano because Niger State is the largest producer of paddy rice in Nigeria but our rice mills are nothing to write home about. I heard of the largest rice mill in Africa in Kano and I went for peer review and it is something massive.

“So, how do we take comparative advantage of that? We will first aggregate this paddy and trade them off to these people instead of them coming here to carry it for free and our people are losing. We want to empower our local farmers with improved seedlings and inputs so that they can produce more tonnage and also make more money. We are going to have a MoU between Niger State Development Company and Gerawa Rice mill for offtake of all rice paddy that we can control so that we are sure that our farmers don’t lose,” he said.

Bago said the state was endowed with natural resources, especially arable land, to lead in all facets of agricultural activities but threatened by climate change, manifesting as flood, erosion, desertification and environmental pollution.

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