A rice company, Pearl Universal Impex Limited, has stated that it is creating over 7,000 jobs through its rice farming project in Niger State.
The firm added that following a successful pilot phase of its rice project in June this year, it was ready to determine the variety of rice most suitable to Saminaka, a community situated around Swashi Dam in Borgu Local Government Area of the state where it currently has 500 hectares of land.
According to a statement from the firm, the Chairman of Pearl Universal, Pulkit Jain, disclosed this when the top management of the company paid a courtesy call on the new Emir of Borgu, Barrister Mohammed Sani.
Jain said that the project would create 3,000 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs through its out-grower scheme.
While commending PUI for investing in his domain, Sani urged the government to lend its weight to rice farmers and millers.
He said the project on completion would engage 4,000 people directly adding that the village might have to scout for workforce from neighbouring villages if it lacked adequate manpower for the project.
Jain said the company’s model combined a commercial farm with a programme that worked with nearby farmers allowing the company to have greater control over its product while still leaving room to foster and train local small-scale farmers in rice production.
To this end, Jain revealed that $100m (N20bn) would be committed to the cultivation of 7,500 hectares of rice farm and construction of two rice mills in the state in the next three years.
He said the move was predicated on the successful rice yield of seven metric tonnes per hectare at the trial phase of the project, adding that the company would now move to another 2000 hectares of land for cultivation.
He further disclosed that the focus would be primarily on dry season farming as it was easier to manage, even as the company intends to grow rice three times a year on the land.