In an effort to combat unemployment sustainably, Dangote Rice Company is rolling out a multi million naira youth farming initiative in Kogi State, Nigeria.

The Dangote Youth Rice Farm Project, is an out-grower scheme for youth at the Lower Niger River Basin Authority where young people have cultivated over 100 hectares of land so far. The project kicked off with special training on the dynamics of rice farming – where youth cultivate the rice paddy, then bought over by the company for processing.

Through the scheme, Dangote Rice company provides anti-pest-chemicals, seeding and fertilizers while the Basin Authority provides land. According to group executive director Mr. Deyakumar Edwin noted that the project is a new way to ensure food security and job creation for young Nigerians. “We believe skill, knowledge, enabling environment, collaboration and linkages along the value chain are driving forces for economic empowerment and social development in line with the Federal Government policies. This project will address the skills gap in local rice production among unemployed youths by providing technical, organizational and financial requirements.” He said.

Edwin further noted that the project is aimed to cover the large gap between demand and domestic production, creating self-sufficiency of Nigeria through substituting imported rice by quality local brands.

Dangote Rice Company plans to set up 150 000 metric tons of integrated rice mill and sell one million metric tons of parboiled rice by 2018.