The Elephant Group Africa has restated its commitment to grow more rice in the country and to that end it has acquired a 20,000 hectares of land to improve on its rice cultivation initiative.
Managing Director of the Group Mr. Tunji Owoeye who disclosed this in Lagos estimated that rice consumption in Nigeria to have increased from five to six tonnes.
He said the group will continue to intensify its production initiative in line with governments agricultural transformation program, and also urged the sector to make use of financial facilities put in place by the government to boost agriculture in the country.
Speaking further, he noted that the elephant Group was incorporated as commodity trader and later embraced a backward integration programme and now has large farms, encouraged by the Federal Government’s agriculture policies.
“This is the first time that government resolved not to influence contract for fertilizer procurement. Now, fertilizer gets to the farmers with redemption centres here and there. A lot of school leavers who would have become miscreants are now actively involved in agriculture activities”, he said.
Owoeye said agric financing alone has ensured the mobilization of no less than N900bn, saying this is unprecedented, and that it would require in incisive and focused government to safeguard the gains that have already been made in the agriculture sector.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of the Group, Akin
Ogunbiyi called on government to review the Land use act so as to
lessen difficulty in acquiring land for Agricultural purposes.
He also reiterated the need for Bank of Agriculture to relax some of its policies so that many farmers can have access to the facilities