At a ceremony in Kano on Thursday, April 11, 2019, private sector investors – Popular Farms & Mills Nigeria Limited commissioned a strategic multi-billion Naira Rice Mill expansion of 140,000 MTs per year milling capacity, as well as laid the foundation for 44,000 MTs per year Sesame Processing Plant at its Challawa Unit.
Speaking at the ceremony, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, represented by FMARD State Director, Kano State – Mallam Mohammed Adamu Muneer commended the investors for their ingenuity and contributions not only to the Agricultural sector in Nigeria but also for the efforts and commitment to reducing unemployment and empower farmers.
He pledged the Ministry’s commitment to continue to support the initiative: “What we saw today is in line with the Federal Government’s policy of self-sufficiency in Rice production.” On the challenge posed by rice smuggling, he assured that “government at all levels are working on several options, including diplomacy, towards curbing the menace”.
Other dignitaries represented at the event included the Emir of Kano, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, represented by Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim Madakin; the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele was represented by a director, Mr Hassan Tom; Kebbi State Governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture. Also in attendance was Ambassador Mrs Kupoluyi among other dignitaries. Representatives of Rice Cooperatives and Supply Chain partners I the Agricultural sector also witnessed the event.