By John Ndu : Anambra State government has commissioned an ultra modern integrated Rice Mills and farm in the state in furtherance of its efforts to promote agricultural revolution and ensure food sufficiency in the State.
The rice mills and farm which is one of the biggest in the South East region, sits on a 15,000 hectares of land at Enugwu –Abo Ufuma, in Orumba North local government area.
Commissioning the project, Governor Obiano said the farm would embark on three planting season, to produce 90,000 metric tons annually, to add to the state’s consumption capacity of 300,000, making the state sufficient enough to export rice to other countries.
Governor Obiano noted that the project would further strengthen the state’s socio economic activities and create sufficient employment opportunities, especially for the people of the community.
The Governor who explained that the farm’s irrigation system was connected to a nearby river, pointed out that a special specie of rice known as Farrow 44 was introduced to spread across the state and boost rice sufficiency.
It would be recalled that the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of JOSAN integrated Rice Farms and Mills was signed in September, 2014 between the company and Anambra state government.
The MOU geared towards resuscitate the former moribund and abandoned World Bank rice project in Ufuma as well as the dilapidated Omor Rice Mill to turned them into pilot project and develop 15,000 hectares of land into paddy rice field.
The Chairman Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, Chief Joe Billy Ekwunife described the farm as the largest integrated Rice Mill and farm in the South East having two rural empowerment Rice Mills with a capacity of producing 30 metric tons a day and two fully automated rice mills with automated parboiling system that could produce 60 metric tons a day and all year round irrigation system, for all year rice farming.
” It is worthy to note that the entire project, coming in phases, will eventually include the development of a larger rice farm at Ayamelum and the rehabilitation of the mill at Omor, for a total investment value of $150 million. The state’s share is 10% and 3% out of the project’s annual net profit will be set aside as Corporate Social Responsibility for the host community, Ufuma in perpetuity.”
ANSIPPA chairman said the project has created 130 direct and 400 indirect jobs and when completed would create more than 3000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs which 75% have been reserved for the people of the state.
The Managing Director JOSAN, Mr Augustin Ileka pointed out that JOSAN rice farm and Mills and its Nigerian technical partner Roadworks had jointly built highly local innovative and customized agro allied solutions on site, that is an automated parboiling unit, industrial boiler, industry dryers, cooler, water rigs, conveyors ( all locally manufactured on the site.
Mr Ileka said JOSAN and Roadworks constructed a 50KVA fossil less fuel generator, plus a water rig for irrigation and boreholes.