The federal government has flagged off WACOT Rice Limited’s 2024 dry season farming input distribution to outgrower farmers in Argungu, Kebbi State.
The out-grower program seeks to increase the quality of smallholder farmer livelihoods via access to required agri-input financing, capacity-building training on Yield Enhancement Techniques (YET), and Good Agronomic Practices (GAP).
At the ceremony on Friday, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who also inspected WACOT Rice’s state-of-the-art 250,000-tonnes mill ahead of its inauguration later in the year, expressed delight with the initiative, noting that it would boost farmers’ productivity and income.
Kyari lauded WACOT Rice and its parent company, Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, for empowering farmers across various value chains nationwide.
Highlighting TGI’s substantial investments in agriculture and other sectors, the minister affirmed the alignment of these investments with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope eight-point agenda.
“I am impressed with what I have seen. This project is heading in the right direction, utilising the farm produce from local farmers for raw materials.
“The government stands ready to support initiatives like WACOT Rice, recognising their potential to create jobs and improve livelihoods.
“As part of our strategic focus, we are actively considering creating farm land for WACOT Rice, further enhancing our agricultural capabilities,” he said.
Chairman of WACOT Rice and Vice Chairman (Africa) of TGI Group, Farouk Gumel emphasised WACOT Rice’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s food security.
He highlighted the inclusivity of the outgrower programme, supporting farmers of all demographics with certified seeds, agrochemicals, and training sessions to enhance productivity and income.