NIGERIA – Stallion Group, a Dubai-based conglomerate through its Nigerian Subsidiary, Popular Farms and Mills Limited, has inaugurated a new rice milling in Kano State, Nigeria, as it seeks to boost rice production in the country.

Alhaji Suleiman Umar, the company’s National Programme Manager, said that the firm has invested about US$22.19million (N8bn) both in the facility as well as in establishing a sesame processing plant.

The firm has also laid the foundation for a 44,000 metric tonnes sesame processing plant in the country.

The new facility has an installed milling capacity of 430,000 metric tons per annum and will source local rice from about 40,000 farmers in Nigeria, as it targets to process 1.50 million tons of paddy rice annually in it’s country’s expansion drive, reports The Nation.

“Our plan is to spearhead and lead the Nigerian rice revolution and self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.

We are achieving this through free technical and business skills training to rice out growers and cooperatives, as well as empowering women and youths in the rice value chain.

The company is leveraging on the policy impetus provided by the Federal Government through its green alternative Agricultural Agenda, this has enable us to have upgraded our local rice milling capacity to 430,000 metric tons per annum,” Umar said.

As a major rice milling firm in the country, Umar noted that the company has already rolled out a strategy that will ensure the processing plant gets sufficient raw materials that are to be locally sourced.

“We have been achieving by conducting various interaction and integration services, which has enable us to enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 1,151 cooperative societies, with 41,435 member farmers have been impacted with technical knowhow in rice farming to over 36,000 out growers in the past three years,” he elaborated.

Popular Farms and Mills Limited has also established 16 Agricultural Centres across the country to support its backward integration activities, through trainings, input distribution, quality test, transit storage, certified seeds and fertilizers enhancement.

Its parent company, the Stallion Group is a major investor in Sub-Saharan Africa with an extensive international presence in 18 countries through 72 locations and more than 10,000 employees.