Dangote set to launch 25,000HA of rice outgrower scheme in Sokoto

Al Shabani at the acquisition of Dangote Cement by ICD in 2014Aliko Dangote, head of the Dangote Group. (Image source: Saba Dubai/Commons)Dangote Rice is set to launch in Sokoto state, Nigeria, in its multi-million naira, 25,000 hectares (HA) of rice outgrower scheme with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural communities inhabitants 

On 13 January, Aliko Dangote, president of the group, announced that on 15 January, Dangote Rice will begin the pilot project of 500HA by Gonroyo dam, Nigeria. 

The flag off ceremony which will be performed by the governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa will witness seedlings being distributed to the primary local farmers who will in turn plant the seed after which Dangote Rice company will purchase from them for milling and final processing.

Dangote Rice projects in the 14 states, when, operational, will generate a significant number of jobs and increase take-home income for smallholder farmers, all while diversifying Nigeria’s economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill.

Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3mn MT in 2015, with only 2.3mn tonnes of that demand satisfied by local production.

This local production shortfall leaves a gap of 4.0mn tonnes that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders.  

By year-end 2017, Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 tonnes of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow us to satisfy 4 per cent of the total market demand within 1 year. Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1mn tonnes of milled rice in order to satisfy 16 per cent of the domestic market demand for rice over the next five years.

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