IFAD hands over processing mill to Abakaliki rice association



The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), on Tuesday handed over a new processing mill to the Abakaliki Rice Mill Association.

Mr Sunday Ituma, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC) of IFADVCDP, handed the mill to the association at Iboko, Izzi LGA of Ebonyi.

Ituma said that the initiative was part of the programme’s marketing component.

According to him, the multi-million naira facility has a warehouse, processing, parboiling sections among others to ensure a complete chain in rice processing and marketing.

“The programme realises the environmental challenges posed by rice husks and procured a machine that would convert the waste into good use.

“The product from the converted wastes will be used to energise the steam parboilers, which is faster and more effective than wood,’’ he said.

The coordinator said that the VCDP installed two simple mini-processing machines that are manageable for small scale processors.

“The maintenance cost of the machines is low and they enhance production output,’’ he said.

He said that the programme also worked out a simple management structure for the mill to be more proactive and sustainable.

“This made it (VCDP) to involve the private sector in ensuring effective maintenance of the machines in order to increase output.

“We will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the rice mill association to ensure effective management of the facility.’’

He commended the Ebonyi Government for in ensuring the effective take-off of the mill and for assisting the programme in the state.

Chief Moses Nome, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources commended IFADVDCP for its interventions in the state.

Nome said the VCDP had enhanced agricultural production especially, rice and cassava Ebonyi.

IFADVCDP has educated our farmers on modern and high yielding techniques in rice planting and also in the areas of processing, packaging among others.

“This has increased the rice and cassava production capabilities of our farmers and made them entrepreneurs who presently view the venture as a business,’’ the commissioner said.

He assured that the state government would engage the private sector to ensure effective management of the mill.

Mr Emmanuel Ogodo, Chairman of the association, thanked, thanked IFADVCDP for providing the facility.

Ogodo pledged, pledged on behalf of other rice millers, to cooperate in ensuring effective maintenance of the mill.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Grace Yussuf

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