The Dangote Group has disclosed plans to invest $1bn in rice cultivation in five states to boost food self-sufficiency in the country.
The group stated this in a statement made available to our correspondent on Monday.
Speaking at the just concluded 2017 Gateway Trade Fair, which held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, a director of the Dangote Group, Mr. Tunde Mabogunje, stated, “We have been contributing our quota to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. Towards aiding agriculture, we are building a fertilizer plant in the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos State.
“When completed, farmers will have regular access to fertilizer for their farming activities. The delays and disruptions experienced in waiting for imported fertilizer will cease.
“We are investing about $1bn in rice cultivation. We have an out-growers scheme where thousands of farmers are empowered with improved seeds and items needed to cultivate rice.”
Mabogunje added that Dangote Group was at the forefront of job creation and was the largest employer of labour outside the Federal Government, and had been contributing its quota to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy for more than three decades.
Mabogunje, who represented the group at a special day dedicated to it, said that the partnership with the Ogun Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, organisers of the fair, was a beneficial as Ogun State was the host of the 12 million metric tonnes per annum Dangote Cement Plant, Ibese, the second largest cement plant in Nigeria.
To mark its day at the fair, a subsidiary of the group, Dangote Cement, gave out several tools and implements to block moulders in Ogun State in appreciation of their patronage.
Tolls such as wheel barrows, shovels, umbrellas and hand gloves were donated to the block moulders, who assembled from different areas of the state.
“Commending Dangote Group for its sponsorship and participation at the fair, the President of Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mrs. Adesola Adebutu, said the support given by the group went a long way in making the staging of the fair a success.”