NIGERIA-President Muhammad Buhari has today commissioned a private facility, Darma Rice Mill in Katsina owned by business mogul Alhaji Dahiru Barau Mangal.

This comes a few days after he commissioned an ultra-modern Imota Rice Mill complex in Lagos which is the largest in Africa and third globally.

Darma Rice Mill has an output capacity of 120 tons per day and 250,000 metric tons of rice per year which comes timely as the government continues to exert efforts to increase domestic production and reduce reliance on imported milled rice.

According to Mangal, the proprietor of the mill, the country is yet to meet up with the demand for rice as it still imports rice. Nigeria imports 2 million metric tonnes of rice to meet a 7 million consumption demand annually.

He added that the investment in Katsina would support the government in achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, meeting local demand, and also exporting to neighboring countries in the future.

To offset the country from import bills through efficiency, Darma Mill is fully automated with the most modern and advanced state-of-the-art rice milling machinery that will produce high-grade quality rice of international standard.

On environmental sustainability, the factory has an inbuilt 3.2 megawatts captive power plant which is powered by rice husk with an electrostatic precipitator to provide the most minimal environmental impact which is the first of its kind in the Nigerian rice mills.

The mill also complies with food safety standards and it is believed that Darma Rice Mill in Katsina will produce rice that will compete with any global rice mill in terms of quality and hygiene

Upon complete operations, the facility is estimated to create over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs which will help in alleviating unemployment, boost economic activities, and above all contribute its quoter towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production.

The project marries with President Buhari’s mantra of “grow what we eat and eat what we grow”

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