N70bn rice factory for Kwara
The N70 billion joint venture on rice between the Kwara State Government and Valsolar of Spain would soon take off, as all arrangements to that effect have been concluded.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Akorede, said this in a statement in Ilorin yesterday.
According to him, the project partners had inspected the areas and decided to site the projects in five areas including Shonga, Patigi, Lafiagi, Bacita and Share.
Akorede added that the joint venture company for the project - Valsolar-Kwara Company Limited, has been incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, pointing out that the project would be implemented in phases.
According to the statement, five project sites were selected following the results of soil and water tests as well as topographical studies conducted by Valsolar sequel to the signing of MoU between the state government and the company last January.
The statement further explained that the rice project would be cultivated on 20, 000 hectares of land adding that the Spanish farmers would engage in cultivating 5000 hectares of land in each location per annum over the next four years.
The government added that the processing factory to be sited in Share would also serve as storage and distribution location, stressing that in addition to the test results, the five locations were chosen for their proximity to each other and to riverine areas.
Meanwhile, Valsolar's advance team of surveyors and engineers are expected to arrive Shonga, the take-off location for the project in May and will commence operations shortly after.
The state government signed an MoU with Valsolar last month to set up rice cultivation, processing and packaging project in the state.
Under the terms of the MoU, Valsolar would invest N70 billion in the project over a- four year while the state government would make available 20, 000 hectares of land. In return the Spanish company will hold 70 per cent equity in the company while the remaining 30 per cent would be held by the state government.
Speaking at the signing, Governor Ahmed said that the project would generate a minimum 12, 000 jobs across the value chain while accelerating economic development in the state in line with his administration's Shared Prosperity agenda.
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