The three leading food crops in the world are rice, wheat and maize. No doubt, they are the most popular as well as the most consumed food crops. Among these food crops, rice is believed to be the largest consumed food crop in the world with an outrageous consumption rate. The consumption of rice keeps growing daily based on statistics.
Rice provides about 21% of the global human per capita energy and 15% of per capita protein. The protein found in rice ranks high in nutritional quality among other cereals. Aside from protein, rice also contain minerals, vitamins and fiber. Being an essential commodity in great demand, this has triggered the growth of rice milling business in the world.
Among the various states producing rice in Nigeria. Benue State, the food basket of the nation, was not left out. The experiencing naija team brings to you some of the rice milling companies in the state. The rice milling industry in Benue state is one of its growing industries. The ban of the importation of foreign rice has also led to increase in rice production and adoption by consumers in the country at large. The account gathered from these rice milling companies reveal that the industry needs much attention especially in the aspect of infrastructures and electricity as it helps in their production. Among the rice milling companies visited are:
Gboko Rice Mill
The rice mill was established in 2004 by Mr. Samuel Terkaa Ayoo who is also the manager of the rice mill. The company make use of modern technological advanced and fast milling machines to produce stone-free quality rice. He took us through several milling processes. With its staff strength of 9 workers Mr. Ayoo said he was able to produce only 200 bags a day since he relies solely on availability of electricity from the government. He added that he could produce more only if there is a stable electricity supply. The main challenge faced by his company is the unstable supply electricity.
Otukpo Rice Mill
The oldest rice mill in Benue State and the first commercial rice milling plant in West Africa. It was set up and managed by the Idoma people trading company. The large rice mill covers over 20 hectares of land with different people working on the several milling process. This serve as a source of employment for both young and old. Mr. Sheu Abu, who is the manager of the rice mill, shares his experience with us where he stated the varieties of rice and opportunities in the industry. He also stated that the ban of importation of foreign rice has helped a lot and has led to increase in production. He stated that buyers come from different regions of the country to purchase from them. And he said the major challenges faced by the company are unavailability of water, as a lot of water is needed for the production, and huge capital needed for the purchase of modern machines and tools.
The Idoma Model Rice Mill
Established in the year 2017, the Idoma Model Rice Mill has more modern and good looking machines and building infrastructures. The mill is located at Kilometer 5, Adoka road, Okete, Ohimini local government area of Benue State. Mr. Agada Gabriel, the manager of the rice mill, emphasized the profitability of the rice business and also complained about the unstable supply of electricity.
From our trip, we were able to point out the common challenges faced by these companies which are water, electricity and cost of the modern machines as these are major setback facing most of the Nigerian rice milling companies and can be greatly reduced through government intervention by providing funds or making loans readily available. Also, they can help in sourcing for modern machines needed to produce great, stone-free and polished quality rice in the country.
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