A Chinese firm, Green Agriculture West Africa Limited (GAWAL), involved in rice production said it had invested about N300 million to boost the production of the commodity in the country.
Mr Wang Xuemin, Branch Director, Agro-input Trade Business department of the company based in Ngaski in Kebbi state, disclosed this in an interview.
Xuemin said that part of the amount was spent on the purchase of rice seeds purchase for planting from farmers in the area.
He said that the firm had employed 400 indigenes of the area and had trained them on modern farming techniques.
``The company also provided breeder and foundation seeds to the farmers as well as training in conjunction with the National Agriculture Seeds Counsel Officers,’’ he said.
Xuemin said that the officers had become advanced in technology and field operations, explaining that the effort was to ensure that farm produce in the area were high yield and of high quality.
He said that improved rice seedlings for large scale mechanized farming were introduced in 2006 and that in 2007, the rice was harvested and the seedlings had become refined for development of new high-breed seeds.
The director disclosed that the company produced 20,000 metric tonnes of rice annually.
He assured that the company would contribute to the improvement of economic status of farmers in the area and to the enhancement of food security and employment.
He disclosed that the firm would focus on innovation on seeds multiplication, processing and sale.
``This is in addition to establishment of fine breed multiplication system, modern seed processing and storage system, standardisation of seed quality and inspection system.
``Efforts will be intensified on the development of mechanised farming, grains and food processing with single machines and equipment as well as sustaining local and international breeder seeds improvement,’’ Xuemin said.
He also said that the company had donated 50 metric tonnes of rice seedlings and 50 metric tonnes of maize seedlings to farmers whose farmers whose farms were destroyed by flood in the state.
``It is also our belief that farmers suffering from flood will be rehabilitated in FADAMA season under the management of the state government," he added.