Ebonyi Rice Mill Chair Host’s Sierra Leone Envoys, Assures Of Partnership

Polycarp Sola-Abakaliki

The chairman of Abakaliki rice mill company in Ebonyi State, Mr. Linus Obeji, on Saturday, hosted envoys from the Sierra Leon Government who are on a research tour of the rice facility, which is said to be the largest rice processing company in Africa.

Obeji, who comment on the visit as a positive development, said it is a result of the company’s impacts in providing food security for the people over the years, which has gone beyond the shores of Ebonyi and the Country at large.

It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the biggest rice mill processing industry in Nigeria, not only In the country but also the biggest in the whole of West Africa.

“We are not a radio Agriculturist here, neither are we, politicians, we are a people who are in touch with the rural communities to supply the best rice since the 1970s,” Obeji said.

Eye witness reports gathered that the research tour of the Sierra Leonians is a result of the intervention of the African Development Bank, which has modeled a proposed rice processing company in the country after the Abakaliki rice mill.

According to the chairman, the company is open to engaging viable partners and assured the envoys that, “Rice Mill people are very hospitable and very desirous of developing this aspect of Agriculture to the tune of exportation.

We are ready to engage partners, this is a project of the African Development Bank, the Central Bank Of Nigeria and The Bank Of Industry are all partners we look forward to seeing, in my regime for instance, the State Government has aided us through the BOI. ” He added.

The chairman equally commended the intervention of the State Government in providing funds in loans and grants as well as infrastructure for the best interest of the company.

The leader of the envoy, Aiya Joseph Tali, who is the deputy chief of the Agricultural Office at, the Ministry of Agriculture and food security in sierra leone, said the essence of the research tour in the State is to help in the course of improving Agriculture in the country.

Abakaliki is a very big name now in Agriculture, and you’ve done so much that the world is now aware of your achievements in Agriculture.

“We trying to transform the face of Agriculture in sierra leone and we have a project being supported by the African Development Bank, and this project is about a rice agro-processing cluster.

“The only place in Africa where we can find such is in Nigeria, Ebonyi State, that’s why we are here to have a study tour to see for ourselves, the achievements you have made so far.”

He said the Partnership with Ebonyi rice mill would continue, even as they intend to replicate the facility in their country to fight hunger, while explaining that the sierra leone government spends over 300 million dollars in the importation of rice annually, due to its high demand daily.

If we can take the Ebonyi Approach, we can solve all the problems, because rice is the major food in sierra leone, then cassava, we are bent on rice because 90% of serrielonias eat rice every day,” he added.

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