A MAJOR importer of rice in the country, Pearl Universal Impex, has committed over one hundred million dollars into the cultivation of 7,500 hectares of rice farm and construction of two rice mills in Niger state.
The chairman of the company, Mr. Pulkit Jain, who disclosed this while receiving the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, at the farms recently said they will be creating 4000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs through their out-grower scheme.
Pulkit Jain said that they intend to farm rice three times a year on the land. “We have some challenges, such as the bad road here. But we’re bringing $2 million of our own money to invest in the road, bringing the total of the entire project to $100 million.
Jain disclosed that the company has been a major importer of rice in the country with imports of 350,000 metric tonnes of rice annually in the past, but chose to invest in cultivation and milling of scientifically tested, high yielding varieties of rice in order to achieve the Federal Government’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production.
Jain added that the company is also in the process of setting up integrated rice mills with parboiling and drying facilities in Borgu and Bida local government areas of the state, each with paddy processing capacity of 150,000 tons per annum.
“We will also support the out grower farmers in Niger State by providing them with technical knowhow, improved seeds, fertilisers and pesticides and subsequently procure high quality paddy from them to feed 100 per cent capacity of the rice mills.”
He said to underline their commitment that the company in June this year started a pilot scheme to determine the variety of rice most suitable to the region at 500 hectares of land in Saminaka, a community situated around Swashi Dam in Borgu local Government Area of the state.

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