NIGERIA – Nigeria’s Lagos State has revealed that it was planning to commission and start production for 32 metric tons per hour rice mill in February 2019, which Adebowale Akinsanya, Commissioner for Works described as the biggest in Africa, according to the Guardian Nigeria.

This forms part of the Federal Government’s initiative to self-sufficiency and food security especially through rice production that saw a 70% increase as a result of government initiatives such as restrictions on imports while focusing on local production.

Akinsanya said the Imota Rice Mill, situated close to Imota light Industrial Park would be ready before December this year and that the entire area, covering 8,000 square metres, with a light industrial park, would create jobs for 250,000 people.

The warehouse will also accommodate 20,000 metric tonnes of rice available to residents of the state and other South-west states early next year, even as the state government is stepping up work at the mill.

Based on a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, the details were disclosed when the commissioner made an inspection tour at the mill, along that at ongoing project at the regional food market in Imota.

Akinsanya said that the new food market would accommodate 5,000 stalls, 1000 capacity trucks and trailer park, with the first phase at 75 per cent completion.

“The location of the new foodstuff market compared to the present location is about 70 meter away from the road and has a car park that could accommodate no fewer than 1,000 vehicles,” said Akinsanya.

The government is mulling investments in rice production following plans to establish additional 14 rice mills in the country.

Early April, investors announced a US$693.75million investment into Nigeria’s rice production in addition to US$832.5 million invested by processors.

Nigeria has 21 large integrated rice mills with a total processing capacity of 1.22 million metric tonnes yearly spreading across the country.

The Minister of Agriculture Audi Ogbeh had earlier noted that Nigeria was moving towards self-sufficiency in rice production, and is on track to achieving this by the year 2020.

According to him, crop area of rice in 2017 was 3.9 million hectares, which represent an increase of about 6.9% over the 3.17 million hectares cultivated in 2016.

Nigeria’s demand for rice stands at 9.5 million MT of paddy, which represents 6.8 million MT of milled rice.