Business Big Nigerian Rice Importer Switches to Large Scale Local Production and Processing



A major rice importer and Managing Director of Elephant Group, Mr Tunji Owoeye, during a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said his company is ready to do large scale commercial production and processing of rice in Nigeria.

Owoeye said his company has embarked on $50 million equity injection, and that his company has already done about 1,000 hectares in Moniya, Ibadan, for two seasons.

He said his company has also acquired 9, 5000 in Guza and has got approval of another 5,000 ha in Baro, both in Niger State for fully mechanised rice farming, NATIONAL MIRROR reported.

“Because of our position in rice industry, we don’t want to lose that. We take this very seriously. We also want to take over Veetee in Ewekoro, Ogun State.

Describing his company as one of the major Growth Enhancement Scheme, GES, supporters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, he noted that his company and association want to support local producers to continue to produce rice, adding he has already requested for one of the 10 new rice mills the Federal Government has just approved.

"Whoever does not have short term plan of backward integration will not be allowed in our association. We will not welcome traders from outside, except they are going to invest in production,” Owoeye warned.

Approving Owoeye’s request, the minister said “our ports should not be for just letting goods in. Our ports should be for export too. Nigeria should be a net exporter of rice.

He also expressed delight at First City Monument Bank’s ,FCMB’s support for Elephant Group’s rice project.

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