The Federal Government has leased the National Grains Reserve at Igbariam to Coscharis Rice farm, Anaku for the next ten years.
Governor Willie Obiano and the management of the farm, yesterday, paid an inspection visit to the facility.
As a result of the lease agreement, work has commenced on the facility to bring it to functioning capacity to enable the investor use it for storage activities.
The silos at the reserve, which has the capacity to store twenty-five thousand metric tons of grains, will be used to store paddy produced by the farm from where it will be fed to a one hundred and fifty metric tons daily capacity Mill being constructed by Coscharis.
Speaking after he was conducted round the facility, Governor Obiano said that with the arrangement, the farm now has a wholesome plan that will guarantee great improvement in the value chain, starting from planting up to processing and storage.
He acknowledged that with what his administration has done towards supporting other rice farmers, especially through the FADAMA initiative, the vision of the state to do six hundred thousand metric tons of rice annually, is now becoming more realistic.
The Investor, Chief Cosmos Maduka, said the idea behind the lease agreement is to produce fresh grains, fit for human consumption and capable of competing favourably with those produced in developed countries, adding that when the mill and silos fully come on stream, there will be prospects for electricity generation through the milling turbines as well as wealth creation.
Meanwhile, preparation of a two-point-eight hectare rice farm is in top gear at Coscharis Rice Farm, Anaku in Ayamelum Council Area ahead of this year’s planting season.
This came to the fore when Governor Willie Obiano visited the mechanized farm yesterday to monitor activities.
During the visit, Governor Obiano was conducted round the farm by the authorities where it was observed that land preparation was ongoing alongside manure application.
Steep canals were being dug round the farm to serve irrigation purposes and to keep the plants safe in the case of cow invasion while testing of seedlings was also being done.
Governor Obiano in his remarks, observed that the farm has exhausted the two-point-eight hectares provided for them and said government will consider giving them additional land to enable them expand the project.
He noted that the irrigation initiative which the farm has introduced will complement his administration’s efforts at supporting dry season farming in the State and ultimately achieving six hundred thousand metric tons of rice annually.
The Governor commended the Anaku community for their cooperation towards the success of the project, adding that the farm has the capacity to create means of livelihood for members of the community.
The Investor, Chief Cosmos Maduka, revealed that they are constructing a Mill at Igbariam, which will be completed by end of June and thanked Governor Obiano for his genuine commitment and support that made their vision to materialize.
The General Manager of the farm, Mr. Bharat Dhir, said they are committed to producing the best quality rice for the state and setting a model for rice production for other states of the country.