Quarra Rice Mill, one of the country’s largest rice processing mills which has an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes of paddy rice is set to add pep to the Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) to meet the rapidly growing domestic rice demand.
NaijaAgroNet discovered that the mill which is located in Tsaragi, Kwara State is one of the country’s largest rice processing mills and is expected to process 150,000 tonnes per year by 2018.
The mill which is operated by Quarra Rice Limited would have output of parboiled rice and rice flour sold domestically to help alleviate food security and serve as substitute for expensive imports.
The United States Department of Agriculture reports that the estimated level of import of rice in Nigeria stands at 2.7 million tons of rice per annum, while Nigeria produces 2.85 tons of milled rice and 4.524 million tons of paddy rice per year.
At the commissioning of the mill, recently, the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed was quoted as saying that “it was alarming that Nigeria continued to spend about $2 billion annually on importation of roughly 2 million metric tons of rice, wasting scarce foreign exchange and stunting growth of local agriculture, while accelerating the growth of foreign economies.”
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adewunmi Adesina, who was represented by Executive Director of National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation. Ike Azogu said that 9 million metric tons of food was added to the nation’s domestic food supply in 2012/2013, which is an increase of 80 percent more than the annual target of 5 million metric tons.
“Food imports declined by N857 billion by the end of 2012; for example, the nation’s import bill for wheat, rice and sugar was down by $3 billion in 2012. Agric exports expanded by 822,000 metric tons in 2012, as the sector’s contribution to non-oil exports expanded by N759 billion,” he said.
*Additional report from Businessday