The Oyo State government on Thursday in Saki, inaugurated WAMCO Milk Collection Centre which boasts of a milk collection capacity of about 40,000 liters per day, an average daily raw milk intake of approximately 6,000 litres and a peak of more than 20,000 litres.
At the official launch, Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed that over 10,000 farmers will benefit from a N9billion rice production partnership project by the state government and Dangote Group.
He said a strong delegation from the state comprising the commissioners of agriculture, lands and the Special Adviser, Projects and other senior government officials had a fruitful meeting with the Dangote Group and its Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, at the company’s Corporate Headquarters, Ikoyi, Lagos last Thursday June 1, 2017.
He said that “a huge outcome of the meeting is Dangote Group’s decision to invest over N9 billion in establishing Nigeria’s biggest rice processing facility in Oyo State. This will be a very viable project because of the rich rice belt in the Oke Ogun area of the state.
“Dangote’s 16ton/hr Integrated Rice Mill will require paddy from a minimum of 20,000 Ha cultivated land. Dangote Rice Outgrowership Scheme under the Oyo State Agric Initiative will empower thousands of smallholder rice farmers and consequently bring Oyo State to the frontier of rice production in Nigeria.
“There is an added advantage of the plant other than rice processing. The plant will also utilize the waste from rice husk to generate power which will ultimately provide power to the national grid. To commence the activities to bring this laudable project to fruition according to the agreed timeline, a team from Dangote Rice Limited will be visiting the state in the coming week.”
He disclosed that the 10,000 farmers will benefit from the project within the first 18 months of its take-off.
He said there would also be an increase in current market share of locally produced milk, creation of jobs and expansion of investment opportunities in the state.
In his goodwill message at the occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, said that the Dairy Development Programmes (DDP) under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and WAMCO in 2011 and renewed in 2016 has encouraged Sedentarization of the Nomadic pastoralists thus reducing conflicts between farmers and the Fulani herdsmen in Oyo State.
Chief Ogbe, who was represented by Dr John Taiwo, stressed that the DDP has facilitated milk processing in Iseyin, Alaga, Fasola, Maya and the inaugurated Saki Centre, adding that the projects also guaranteed farm gate price for raw milk in the areas.
In his address, the Chairman, WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Chief Moyo Ajekigbe noted that a key aspect of its long term strategy of providing affordable nutrition is the DDP set up in Oyo State, explaining that the company works with local dairy farmers (including over 900 women) to grow local dairy.
He expressed the company’s willingness to share its technological know-how towards creating direct and indirect jobs for the people of the state. He also enjoined farmers to organize themselves in clusters in order to become economic influencers through access to loans and other financial benefits.