The Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade has revealed that the state is now set for the official commissioning of a state-owned 10-ton per hour ultra-modern rice mill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ayeda revealed this to pressmen during the recent test run of the factory in the Ogoja Local Government Area of the state.
The governor who commended the contractors for a job well done and their dedication to purpose, said the mill will revolutionise agriculture in the country.
“I have just watched the test operation and it is fully operational and the dream of having the Ogoja rice mill has come to birth.
“We have just had a full test run, a pre-commissioning test run from the point of receiving the padding from the pad, through the pre-cleaning to parboiling stage to the preserving where it does the destoning, taking out the outer shell to the whitener and from where it goes further down the system to absorb the grading and making sure that the grain size is uniform and finally to the bagging line,” he said.
The governor beaming with excitement also hinted that the mill is the first of its kind in Africa.
He further stated that the establishment of the rice mill in Ogoja has the potential to make young farmers from the area millionaires.
“I look forward to converting the entire people of the state into rice farmers. This is because the storage capacity alone is about 6,500 tons and on continuous production, we have a storage capacity of 240 tons per day, at 24 hours operation.
“So, if we have 240 tons per day, therefore, that means that even if we are to convert the whole land in Cross River State for rice farming, this factory can take all.
On the significance of the mill, Ayade said, “The issue of poverty will come to an end. But you need an aggregate vote that will be made available to farmers to be able to buy, carry and deliver to this factory. So for every local government, we are going to have a supplier to this farm.
“We have a grading system to assess the quality of grain. The Cross River rice seedling factory will supply seedlings to the farmers so we could have consistent quality of grains. We will have people who will buy off the padding from the farmers.
“We are also going to introduce the anchor borrowers program, where key stakeholders will be given funds by the state government and perhaps the federal government to assist them to do large-scale industrial farming like myself.”
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