As the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens food security, Olam Nigeria has said it won’t relent in the cultivation of its 5000 hectares of rice which produces about 40,000 metric tons of paddy.
However, the company off-takes paddy from farmers around the country to balance its milling capacity of 240,000 metric tonnes, in its farms in Rukubi Doma Nassarawa State and Amarava Agro in Kano state which operates 120,000MT respectively.
Olam Nigeria, one of the leading players in the Nigerian Agriculture value chain said this effort will save the country from the effects of a post-COVID-19 food crisis.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerian farmers to embark on massive food production this farming season as in his words, Nigeria must produce what it eats.
According to a statement issued by Olam, “in furtherance of this resolve by the President, Olam Nigeria is pledging to continue its support in the fight to ensure food security and helping the country reduce its food imports by ramping up Rice production through its over 5000 hectares, fully mechanized large-scale rice farm that produces 2 crops a year for the Nigerian market.
“The farms which have an integrated rice mill with a production capacity of 120,000 tonnes respectively is committed to producing only local and homegrown quality rice with the variants of Mama’s Pride and Mama’s Choice”
Olam said it is working with more than 20,000 direct Outgrower Famers and sensitizing more farmers to plant Rice and handholding them with training and inputs in 5 states of Nigeria.
“In addition, Olam participates across the country as the biggest off-taker of paddy rice from Nigerian farmers impacting livelihoods of more than 100,000 farmers directly and indirectly”, the statement noted.
Olam further said it was determined to make Nigeria the agricultural hub on the African continent, “that is why the Agribusiness company is sourcing, procuring, grading, processing and exporting other agricultural products such as cocoa, cashew, sesame and cotton.
“The Olam Rice Farm and Mill both in Rukubi, Nasarawa State and Kano has created both direct and indirect employment to the tune of over 2500 people, thereby helping the local community survive and enriching the farmers around and within the environs”, the statement said.
“We must not forget that COVID-19 pandemic is arguably the biggest challenge facing humanity today. It is ravaging not only Nigeria but the global economy.
“As part of the efforts to support Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, Olam has successfully given palliatives to host communities, women were given rice, and medical kits were given to the Rukubi Clinic in Doma, Nasarawa State apart from undertaking various other community support programs. Enlightenment and educational campaigns in form of radio and tv jingles in local languages to stress the need for social distancing, wearing of masks as well as washing and rinsing of hands whilst ensuring they are all in line with COVID-19 protocols as espoused by WHO and NCDC”, Olam said.
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