To further bridge the rice consumption demand and supply gap in Nigeria, Darma Rice Mill Limited has set up a 600,000 metric tonnes rice mill in Katsina State. Executive Director of the company, Fahad Mangal, disclosed this, explaining that the aim was to support the Federal Government’s move to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production.
The mill is designed to process 600,000 metric tonnes per annum, when operational. Mangal added that the production plan is divided into two phases. The first phase has 300,000 metric tonnes per annum capacity of two lines of 16 tonnes per hour rice mill
According to him, the first phase will be ready for processing before the second quarter of 2020 and after that, we will immediately start the phase two of additional 300,000 metric tonnes making a total of 600,000 metric tonnes per annum.
The investor explained that the choice of location was borne out of the fact that Katsina has vast agricultural land. He said they had already engaged farmers in their growers’ scheme, providing them with loans to produce paddy rice. He added that they would also source for paddy from neighbouring States like Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa, and Kastina, as the target market is the northwest, down to the north-central markets where there is a huge demand for rice.
Mangal mentioned that the country was yet to meet up with the demand for rice as it still imports rice, adding that the establishment of the plant in Katsina would support the government in achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, meet local demand and also export to neighbouring countries in the future.
When fully operational, he said, about 5000 direct and indirect jobs would be created as the company also plans to commence production of about one million metricS of fertilizer yearly.