Home News NDDC Rice Mill Boosts Agric, to create jobs in Niger Delta

NDDC Rice Mill Boosts Agric, to create jobs in Niger Delta

by Our Reporter
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has given a boost to
agriculture in the Niger Delta region by reviving its six tonnes per
hour rice mill at Elele-Alimini, in Emohua Local Government Area of
Rivers State.
Speaking after inspecting the multi-million-naira, six tonnes per hour
rice mill, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo
Pondei, said that the facility, which is leased to a private firm,
Elephant Group, would create more opportunities for youths in the Niger
Delta region.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was represented by the
Commission’s Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Doodei Week,
stated that the facility would also provide employment opportunities for
youths in the region and create more opportunities for farmers to reap
from their produce.
He remarked: “It is expected that a minimum of 5,000 out-grower farmers
would be supported through NDDC intervention to provide the needed
input, which is the rice paddy for the mill. It is a revival of the
agricultural sector in the Niger Delta region, using the rice value
chain as an option.
“The NDDC places emphasis on partnerships. We have already sought viable
collaborators, such as the CBN and the state governments. We will also
work with communities and smallholder farmers.
“Funding will come mainly from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,
Anchor-Borrowers Programme, while land will be sourced from the
communities, especially rice-growing communities. The Agricultural
Development Programme, ADPs, in the states will also provide extension
services to the farmers.”
The NDDC boss noted that the rice mill in Elele-Alimini was constructed,
completed, test-run, and technically commissioned in 2008. He remarked
that because the Commission placed a premium on the partnership, it
leased the mill to a private concern to run for sustainability and
He explained: “The lease is for 20 years and it started on September 1,
2017. It is expected that by 2026, the lease agreement would have run
its full course.
“It is instructive to note that because it is agricultural, there is a
need for a moratorium. We gave a five-year moratorium out of the 20
years. After the five years concession, the Elephant Group will start
paying some fees to the NDDC and this will boost our internally
generated revenue.
“The rice mill will serve not only the NDDC-supported farmers but other
rice growers across the region. If all these come together, rice
production in the region will increase substantially because the region
has a comparative advantage in rice production with several bodies of
water and arable land.”
The Administration and Station Manager of the Elephant Group, Mr Olabode
Ojo, explained that the resuscitated rice mill was an integrated milling
facility comprising several sections, including boiler, parboiling,
colour sorting and bagging machines.
He said: “We started test-run of the station in January 2020 and we are
continuously growing the capacity of the mill. We can mill up to six
tonnes per hour when we get a steady supply of paddies. We expect that
by September this year, we would have an adequate supply of paddies to
enable us to produce at full capacity.

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