Published 21 May,2021 via The Nation - A rice outgrower expansion project between TGI Group’s subsidiary, WACOT Rice Ltd in Argungu, Kebbi State, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is expected to create 60,000 jobs across Nigeria and West Africa.
Deputy Chief of Party for USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH) project, Karl LittleJohn stated this during the co-investment partnership launch with USAID in Argungu on Wednesday.
LittleJohn said: “The core objective of establishing WACOT in Argungu and the launching of this partnership is to create a catalyst for investment and provide grants to more farmers.
“We want to show that we can create jobs, and we want to also increase trade investment with our partners across West African countries.”
WACOT Rice Chairman, Farouk Gumel, said over 2,000 jobs had already been created by the company following the USAID partnership.
He stated that the firm’s expansion has given opportunities for more farmers to cultivate more land for rice production.
“When the company was established in 2017, we hardly sold our product for the first three months because customers were demanding for foreign rice but today, we steadily sell Nigerian rice and people continue to ask for it. Many people have shown interest in becoming our agents and marketers,” Gumel added.
United States Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Bert Leonard said the United States government’s partnership with WACOT was to sustain food security and creation of more jobs in Nigeria.
Leonard said more than $8 million (about N3.1 billion) would be injected into the economy through the partnership.
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu said the presence of WACOT Rice in the state had positively impacted its economy, adding that the development attracted the USAID investment.
Through the partnership with USAID, WACOT Rice is registering an additional 5,143 farmers to complement its already existing outgrower network in the state and they will cultivate over 5,000 additional hectares of land thereby producing over 20,000 tons of paddy which will be utilised at WACOT Rice’s 120,000-ton rice mill in Argungu.
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