By Ayinde Oluseye
The Ondo State Government has entered into a partnership with the Dangote Group of Companies on rice production as the group has proposed to acquire 3,000 hectares of land in the state to cultivate the staple.
The company urged the state government to expedite action on the proposal so that work could commence on the project soon, stressing that the state had the potential to lead other states of the federation in rice production.
At a meeting with the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Adegboyega Adefarati, in Akure on Thursday, the General Manager, Dangote Industries Limited, Dr. Sani Dawop, said the 3,000-hectare rice farm would provide employment for about 6,000 youths in the state.
He added that the farm was expected to produce about 15,000 tonnes of rice annually, while 30 per cent of the workers would be women.
Adefarati, who expressed delight at the proposal, said the government was ready to accept it and work with the firm.
According to him, the gesture is in tandem with the state government’s vision to use agriculture as a potent tool for job creation, increased food production and poverty alleviation.
The commissioner also advocated the establishment of a rice processing industry where rice from the farm could be processed and packaged in the state so as to prevent capital flight.