Paddy Dealers Association of Nigeria, Farmers’ Cooperative, Rice millers and other private investors have charged the federal government to take seriously, Paddy Aggregation Centres (PACs) model introduced by the ex-agric minister, Akinwumi Adesina, to boost rice production in the country.
The model, according to the stakeholders, which was first launched in 2013 by Adesina in collaboration with the USAID Markets II, has not received desired attention by the present administration.
Daily Trust reports that the model when re-launched in 2019 in Abuja by the Commodity Development Initiative (CDI) – an agricultural development and agribusiness investment facilitation organisation based in FCT, was chronicled Nigeria Paddy Aggregation Centres Strengthening (NPACS) Project.
The stakeholders, in a statement signed by Muhammad Auwal, the association’s president, recalled that the NIRSAL was also involved in the study leading to the establishment of the ‘noble’ centres, which he said if given proper attention would save the country $2 billion annually.
“The purpose of this information is to acquaint the agric ministry with not only the activities of the association but to approach you about the establishment of model Paddy Aggregation Centres (PACs) in Nigeria.
“The overall goal of the centres is to aggregate paddy/grains in standardized measurement, right quality and good price for integrated millers/processors and promote the domestic supply of milled rice to meet local demands in required quality and competitive price and thus curtail expenditure on rice imports,” the statement partly read.
Auwal also explained that the PACs model would lead to significant impact on direct and indirect job creation.
He said, “At least 2,000 farmers will be actively involved in the production of paddy for each PAC, using the out-grower model while each PAC will directly engage 10 people, making a total of 2,010 jobs that will be created for each PAC.”