Obaseki’s agric reforms: Japanese govt constructs, equips N26m rice mill in Edo
Moves by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to sustain food security and create wealth for farmers in the state have received a major boost, as the Japanese Government has donated a rice mill worth over N26 million to the Edo State Government, as part of efforts to facilitate rice production in the state.
Addressing journalists during a courtesy visit to the Governor at the Government House in Benin City, for the commissioning and hand-over ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta commended the achievements of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in the agriculture sector.
Recall that in the 2019 farming season, rice farmers in different settlements across Edo State recorded bumper harvest in farms cultivated in partnership with the state government.
Kikuta noted that the Japanese Government funded project titled, “The Project for Construction of Rice Mill at Ugbekpe-Ekperi Community of Etsako Local Government Area” will further enhance farmers’ income and foster socio-economic development of communities in Edo State.
He said the project, which is worth over N26 million (USD 85,523) will provide rice parboiling building, parboiling equipment, hauler, dehusker, destoner machine, soaking tanks, steaming tanks, a generator, and bagging machine, among others.
The Ambassador said, “The use of the facilities will enhance the quality and marketability of milled rice in this community and nearby communities, thereby enhancing the income of rice farmers as well as fostering the social and economic development of these communities in particular and Edo State.”
He said the gesture is among the Japanese Embassy’s grassroots grant assistance to increase the quality of rice production in Edo State, noting that the Japanese Government has also signed exchange of note for the project to increase the diagnostic capacity of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fight against infectious diseases.
Kikuta said the Japanese Government will continue to support Edo state government in other areas.
The representative of Edo State Governor and Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., reassured that the Obaseki-led administration will provide the needed assistance to ensure the success of the project.