The state targets the production of about 200,000 tonnes of milled rice per annum that would create 10,000 direct jobs

The Federal Government Agricultural Transformation agenda got another boost as the Sokoto State Government announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a  N35 billion rice production, processing and marketing company in the state.

According to a statement signed by Dr Jabbi Kilgori,  the state?s Commissioner for Agriculture, the MOU was signed sequel to the recent approval of the project by the State Executive Council.

“This is in the council?s determination to rapidly utilise the vast fertile  irrigable Fadama lands in the state for large-scale production of rice in line with the national Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).??

The company is being established under a private public partnership ( PPP) agreement with a Geneva-based company, Novel Management Services ? S.A., Switzerland and an indigenous firm, Novel Commodities  Ltd .

The statement hinted that the state targets the production of about 200,000 tonnes of milled rice per annum that would create 10,000 direct jobs.

The arrangement will see Novel S.A. source for development funds and provide the  technical and managerial expertise for  the design and implementation of the project.

On its part, the state  government would provide and secure and suitable lands (25,000 hectares),  infrastructure and partly shoulder feasibility studies, the statement said .

It said that a joint venture company, Sonovel Rice Ltd, with equitable shareholding of the partners, has been incorporated to manage the joint venture partnership.

??The project planned for implementation in two phases, would be located within the River Rima basin, involving a nucleus farm, an out-grower,  seed multiplication as well as production system for two rice crops production  per year and a 40-tonne per hour rice milling facility.??

It quoted Kilgori  as said that the state government had already intimated the Central Bank of Nigeria, the  Federal  Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and that of Water Resources about the project and called for their support in actualising the partnership .

The Managing Director of Novel Management services, Djack Kane, gave assurance that the company would fulfil its obligations in the partnership.

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