Anambra Ramps up Opportunities in Rice, Fish Production
The resuscitation of a mega capacity rice mill and establishment of a Fishery and Aquaculture Business Development Agency by the Anambra state government is expected to ramp up opportunities in rice and fish production.
JOSAN integrated rice mills and Farms a Private Public Partnership (PPP) scheme between Joseph Agro Industries and the Anambra Government was recently commissioned in the state to service about 10,000 rice farmers.
According to the Chairman of JOSAN Integrated Rice Mills and Farms, Chief Oliver Okeke, the mill is equipped with the capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons and a current expanded annual capacity of 80,000 metric tons of paddy rice input and 50,000 metric tons of milled rice.
Okeke, who is also the Chairman of Joseph Agro Industries, reeled out the accomplishments of the firm in rice production activities, as well as commended the administration of Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra for rising to the occasion and seeing to the resuscitation of the mills located at Umumbo community.
“JOSAN was first given the former dilapidated World Bank Rice farm in Ufuma in 2015, as a pilot test scheme, whereby JOSAN installed two new rice mills in Ufuma, built all year round irrigation facilities and engaged in a large co-sponsored out-growers scheme with IFAD-value chain.
“JOSAN also won the National award as the IFAD (the agriculture and rural development agency of the United Nations) State off-taker.
“The Anambra Government then handed over the giant mill at Umumbo in 2018 to JOSAN (formerly known as Omor Rice mill) for complete rehabilitation,” he said.
Okeke appreciated the Umumbo community for agreeing to release 5,000 hectares of land to develop a highly irrigated and mechanised farm, which would also see JOSAN become the anchor off-taker for the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP) in conjunction with NISRAL, IFAD, FADAMA and other development partners.
Regulating Fish Production
In order to address a significant decline in fish production in the state, a special agency was set up by the government, with the mandate to engage, guide and regulate activities of fish farmers and investors; and build a value chain that will help grow and stimulate the sector.
According to Managing Director of the Fishery and Aquaculture Business Development Agency, Mr Emeka Iloghalu, “Fish business is a profitable business which has been neglected due to absence of a regulatory agency in the state”.
He further disclosed that the newly established agency will establish fish farm settlements across the state and generate more than 51,000 direct and indirect jobs in the sector.
While expressing the hope that through the agency, many youths would become millionaires, Iloghalu said the state government had earmarked N503 million in the 2019 budget to help actualise the plan.
“There are huge potentials in fishery and aquaculture; it is a journey we have started to industrialise the sector within the shortest possible time,” he added.