Nigeria: Singapore firm begins US$90 million rice farm in Nasarawa

Daily Trust | 23 February 2012

Lafia — Olam Nigeria Limited, a Singapore based agric investor has commenced work on a $90 million rice farm investment projec covering 10,000 hectares of irrigated farmland in Ondorie area of Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

Head of the project, Mr. Regi George told Daily Trust, yesterday, that work has commenced on the project after the firm acquired the farm facilities from another investor which operated for years before leaving.

Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura had told Daily Trust, last year that the investment was being negotiated on a Public/Private Partnership bases, and was projected to generate over 2,500 jobs at the farm alone, with the community benefitting from it.

"It is going to be the largest rice farm in Africa, fully mechanized. The investors are putting put up a world class rice mill there. This is part of our administration's efforts towards creating more revenue bases, to boost accruals," the state governor, Al-Makura had told Daily Trust.

Ondorie, a farming community, has a large expanse of marshy land running beside the Benue River in the southern zone of the state.

Regi George, head of the Olam project, said the ongoing work entails ground leveling, construction of canals, drainages and a school building for the community.

"We are also going to put up a rice mill there", George said.

He said so far, the investor has engaged several hands including cooperative societies who are already working on the investment.

Al-Makura had said the government was considering tax holidays for investors.

He also disclosed plans to run access roads and electricity to the area, to encourage the investment. "They should have accessible roads to their farm. We are also going to link the area with electricity, which will tap from the national grid, even though the national grid line runs a far distance from that area."
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