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Nigeria’s oil-related economic woes and the depreciation of the currency against the US dollar, is opening up opportunities for the domestic cultivation and processing of agricultural commodities. The cost of importing food has increased significantly, making local production more appealing.
One person taking advantage of the situation is Aliko Dangote, founder of Dangote Group and among the country’s richest people. Dangote Rice is in the process of rolling out rice outgrower schemes across the country, through which the company will distribute seedlings to local farmers to plant and grow. At harvest time Dangote will recoup the input costs and purchase the rice for milling and final processing.
It is estimated that Nigeria consumes 6.3m tonnes of rice annually, of which only 2.3m is produced locally.
“Due to the current economic crisis, domestic prices for agro-commodities have risen dramatically over the last 12 months, making local agriculture an attractive investment,” said the company in a statement.