Dangote set to be world’s largest exporter of rice – Adesina

by on April 18, 2017

The President, African De­velopment Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has asserted that Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will become the largest exporter of rice in the world by 2021.

Adesina said this at the Mo Ibrahim Forum in Morocco at the weekend.

He urged Africa to focus on agriculture to drive growth and employment on the continent.

Adesina recalled that during his tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Dangote decided to invest in local production of rice due to government’s import sub­stitution policies.

Adesina said that Dangote in­itially planned a $300 million in­vestment in production and pro­cessing of rice in Nigeria but later increased it to $1 billion three months after.

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“If they continue that poli­cy, he would probably be the sin­gle largest producer of rice in the world, in about four years.

“The reason why I was so ex­cited about that is that agriculture is cool, agriculture is a business and agriculture pays,” Adesina said.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chair­man, Dangote Group, said that he ventured into rice cultivation because of the government’s in­terest to revive agriculture as the mainstay of the economy and re­duce the importation of foods that could be produced locally.

He lamented that Nige­ria consumes 6.5 million metric tonnes of rice which costs the na­tion over $2 billion annually and commended government’s poli­cy that encourages private sector’s active participation in agriculture.

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