Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/CEO, Dangote Group has hired Brazilian agricultural experts to replicate in Nigeria the model that Brazil used
to transform the country from a net importer of rice in the year 2000 to a net exporter in the year of 2009.
In a statement, the company said that Mr. Lulu Carlos, the Brazilian, started to work in Nigeria as Special Adviser to Alhaji Aliko Dangote on Rice and Coordinator of Dangote Rice Farm Ltd’s out growers’ scheme.
Aliko Dangote Vanguard learned that the pilot test of the Rice Outgrower Model was conducted by the company in Hago-Fadama, Kafin Hausa and Auyo community in Jigawa state.
It was further learned that the company has provided small hold farmers in these communities with quality inputs (certified seeds, fertilizers, agro-chemicals and petrol), improved agricultural practices and technology to increase yield and produce quality rice paddy which would also be bought back from them by Dangote Rice Limited.
Mr Carlos said : “We are happy to start the first phase of the out growers bloc of 200 hectares, shared among 8 communities. I’ve seen the same project born in my country in Brazil, whereby from 2.5metric tons in the beginning to today where we reached 9 tons of paddy rice per hectare in productivity.”
“This has transformed my country (Brazil) from a net importer of Rice in the year 2000 to a net exporter in the year of 2009. This was achieved through a big out grower scheme in the rice region, which today involves thousands of independent farmers responsible for 80 % of the 12 million tons locally produced rice and a small number of large Commercial farms supplying the remaining 20 % in Brazil,” he said.
He continued: Alhaji Aliko has instructed me to conduct the project here for at least 30 percent from out growers scheme and 70 percent from our commercial farms across states in Nigeria. But this is not our limit. We are convinced that this equation will have more and more out growers’ participation in the future, due to very good and welcome response we are getting from all the communities we are dealing with.
“We are bringing to the people top quality seeds, fertilizers and chemicals as well the training and teaching the best and most modern agricultural practices, to enable you to boost your productivity and quality of your rice.
“We rolled out the scheme to cover another 1,000 hectares during rainy season in June / July 2016, using the experience of this first plot to guide our progress.”
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, noted that aside the out growers’ aspect of the investment, Dangote Rice Limited has invested in commercial farms of approximately 150,000 hectares for long grain white rice to produce one million tons of high quality par boiled white rice for sale into the Nigerian market.
“Our internal policy within Dangote Rice Ltd is to procure 30 % of our made-in-Nigeria rice from local farmers who will be developed into out grower groups. These out growers will be simultaneously developed alongside our commercial farming operations,” he said.
Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Badaru Muhammed Abubakar thanked Dangote for the choice of Jigawa State for the Rice farming project. He assured Dangote of his supports in making any policy and intervention that will make the investment profitable and generate jobs for the teeming population of the state.