Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday said the biggest West African multi-billion naira French rice/potato processing plant would be established in Manchok, in Kaura Local Government Area of the state.
Kaura is one of the eight local government areas that make up Southern Kaduna.
The processing plant on completion, according to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Manzo Maigari, will offer 30,000 direct jobs to the teaming unemployed people in the state.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna heralding the ground breaking of the plant scheduled for this week at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, the commissioner said 5,000 hectares of land in each local government area would be allocated for the project.
He added that as one of the steps to empower farmers in the state, VICAMPRO, the owner of the processing plant would buy the potatoes from the farmers for its massive production as 60 per cent of the products would be exported.
The commissioner said, “Since the coming of this government, we came with a goal and determination to farm. What we did were organising farmers into cooperatives, commodity interest groups and the rest. But we looked at things critically and we decided that everything we were going to do in agriculture, would have to have some value added which would be private sector driven. So we are lucky to have VICAMPRO with an investment worth $120m coming into Kaduna State to process French rice and potatoes. But what are the gains for us? With this investment, we are looking at 30,000 direct jobs. We are also working closely with them to see how we can develop out growers network across all the local government areas that have suitable soil to grow potatoes. Another benefit is that it will help us to standardise our farm practice in the state.”