The creation of wealth in the grassroots as sure means of stimulating Nigeria’s economy is one of the motivations behind investments by the Dangote Group.
Group Executive Director and Coordinator of Dangote Rice Project, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, made this assertion while receiving in his office in Lagos, Iseyin Chiefs and Community leaders led by the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiyu Salawudeen Adekunle, Ajinase 1.
The Community leaders from Oyo State had come to show appreciation to the company over the choice of Iseyin town for the multi-million Naira Youth Rice Farm project being undertaken by Africa’s foremost entrepreneur, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Edwin said the project was a deliberate business decision to empower youths at the grassroots, bearing in mind that youths, who are more than half of Nigeria’s population, are mostly unemployed.
Edwin explained that many of the ills ploughing the nation could be traced to youth joblessness and that the youth rice farm is developed to address the issue now that the federal government is diversifying the economy by upgrading the agric sector to achieve food self sufficiency and as a major foreign exchange earner.
He stated that the Dangote Rice Youth farm is modeled after the out-grower scheme to launch the youths back to farm with assurance of assistance to make farming less cumbersome less stressful and profitable.
The Dangote Youth Rice Farm Project, according to him, was launched successfully in Kogi and Jigawa states and “its a pure out-grower scheme, where Dangote Rice company provides inputs like the seedlings, chemical, fertilizers, and give to the youths to prepare the land, cultivate the rice paddy which is then bought over from them by the company at the prevailing market rate.
He stated further that that youths are paid stipend to keep body and soul together for the period of the cultivation and harvest and to stimulate the interest of the youths to be dedicated to the project.
Responding, the Aseyin commended the Executive Director of Dangote Group for the initiative and particularly the choice of Iseyin for the start of the of agric projects and prayed to God to grant the Company reward for its investments.
Oba Adekunle explained that his presence in the Dangote Office in Lagos is to show appreciation and to encourage the Company to increase its investments and explore other opportunities that abound in Iseyin, noting that Iseyin has arable lands that Dangote Rice would find very irresistible.
For the rice investment gesture, the Monarch conferred on Mr. Edwin, the traditional title of Seluro of Iseyin as a token of appreciation.
He said the people of Iseyin would be more than pleased to receive Alhaji Dangote and to help them develop other areas of the ancient town.
It would be recalled that in 2014 Alhaji Aliko Dangote launched an ambitious rice investment with the objectives to reduce Importation of rice into Nigeria from exporting nations and to be the largest farming operation in the world by 2020 with excess of 150,000 ha of land spread around five states.
The rice project, Dangote had said in Jigawa, would also produce and sell one million tons of high quality parboiled rice within the next five years; support and develop Nigerian Rice Farmers via an Out-grower Plan and Create employment in Nigeria.