In Niger State, RMRDC Establishes A Rice Processing Plant

Improving Local Rice Farming
Improving Local Rice Farming

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has commissioned a high grade Rice Processing Centre in Kwakuti, Niger state, as part of efforts to promote the value chain potentials of Nigeria’s agricultural commodities and commit to the federal government’s food security agenda.


Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, the Council’s director general and chief executive officer, said during the inauguration in Kwakuti, Niger State, that the Rice Processing Centre was initiated and built to reduce rural poverty, create employment, and achieve accelerated production and economic growth for the community’s women rice processing groups on a sustainable basis.


Ibrahim, who was represented at the event by Mrs. Hajara Tanko, director Chemical Materials and Pharmaceuticals Department, RMRDC, said the Council had embarked on this project in collaboration with the Niger state government through the IFAD value chain development programme and various commodity processors. He stated that the goal was to establish common facilities for all processors in Nigeria in order to reduce operational costs, but he also stated that processors would have to pay a token for their commodities to be processed.


“The operation of this common facility will necessitate that the money realized from these charges be used to purchase spare parts, fuel, and payment of electricity and water bills,” he added.


Moreover, the RMRDC boss stated that the RMRDC’s interest in cluster arrangements is to promote local raw materials processing for domestic use and export, adding that the Buhari administration’s deliberate attempt to stop rice importation is paying off handsomely.


“This is why we have made the firm decision to invest our widows’ dowry in the establishment of rice clusters in order to promote local production and create job opportunities for our teaming youths in Nigeria.” In addition, we would like to encourage project beneficiaries to continue collaborating with one another in order to advance and develop this cluster.” Prof. Ibrahim concluded his remarks.


Speaking at the event, the Honourable Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development of Niger State, Engr. Ibrahim Muhammad Panti, praised the efforts and collaboration of the IFAD Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) in ensuring the successful completion and equipping of the Kwakuti Rice Processing facility.


The rice project is expected to improve the quality and standard of milled rice in the state in order to meet the needs of local and international markets.


Engr Panti also stated that in the past, Kwakuti women processors lacked modern milling equipment to mill quality rice of international standards, and that the new rice processing plant would provide an enabling environment in which women groups could be trained on False Bottom Technology to improve the quality of milled rice in the State.


As a result, he urged the beneficiaries of this intervention to take ownership of and care for the facilities provided in order to ensure their long-term viability.


Earlier, Dr. Mathew Ahmed, the Niger State program coordinator for the Value Chain Development Programme, stated that the goal of providing this infrastructure and equipment was to increase income and food security for poor rural households.


He stated that efforts have been increased to train rice processors on packaging in order to meet high quality rice of international standards, and that processors have been provided with 50kg, 25kg, 20kg, 10kg, and 5kg branded packaging materials for marketing.


He urged the Kwakuti women rice processors group to collaborate with NAFDAC and SON to have their products certified.