The Lagos State Government said on Tuesday that it was putting finishing touches to the production of ‘Lake Rice,’ which would be available in the market in the next six months.
Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser to Governor Akinwumi Ambode on Food Security, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the rice paddy will be milled at Imota, Lagos.
He said that the state government was collaborating with its Kebbi counterpart, to ensure that quality rice emanated from the 2.5 metric tonne-capacity mill to boost food production in Lagos State.
“To boost food production in the state, we collaborated with the Kebbi Government in commodity value chain production like rice, wheat, groundnut, sorghum and livestock.
We have started with rice; Kebbi is the largest producer of rice paddy and we have the capacity to mill them at our 2.5 metric tonne-capacity milling plant in Imota.
In the next six months, we will have Lagos-Kebbi rice in the market, which we have branded ‘Lake Rice’,” Okanlawon said.
The special adviser said that the rice would have been available in the market by now, but delayed for some technical problems the milling plant had.
According to him, the challenge is being attended to and the plant would be up and running soon.
Okanlawon said that the state government would soon add 20 metric tonnes per hour to the 2.5 metric tonnes Imota rice milling plant.
“We are scaling our 2.5 metric tonnes to 22.5 metric tonnes; an additional 20 metric tonnes per hour will be established very soon.
The 2.5 metric tonnes mill had some technical challenges right now and it is being fixed; the same Mexican contracting firm (San Carlos Ltd.) is also building the 20 metric tonnes for a start.
That is going to attract other investors to come on board, to make sure that we do not consume imported rice in Lagos anymore,” Okanlawon said.
He said that with the machinery put in place, the state would soon become a net exporter of rice in Sub-Saharan Africa.
NAN reports that the Lagos State Government had on March 23, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kebbi Government to boost rice production.