NIGERIA – WACOT Rice Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group has partnered with the Kebbi State government to launch a fortified rice as part of the national strategy for combating micronutrient deficiency in the country.
The launch was held recently in Abuja following the successful fortified rice pilot under the Promoting Rice Fortification in Nigeria (PRiFN) project.
The project aims to support the realisation of the Federal Government’s goal in combating micronutrient deficiency in the country.
It was done in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and other key ministries, departments and agencies.
With the successful launch, fortified rice will become a potent tool in Nigeria’s fight against malnutrition. It will also be integrated into the school feeding programmes in Kebbi State.
At the event attended by government officials, the Managing Director of WACOT Rice, Neeraj Kumar, affirmed the company’s commitment to producing quality and nutritious rice to meet Nigeria’s needs.
“The successful pilot of the rice fortification project is a significant stride towards a healthier, stronger Nigeria. We are immensely proud to have played a central role in this initiative to bring fortified rice to Nigerians,” Kumar said.
He assured that WACOT Rice, which has made tremendous contributions to Kebbi State under its corporate social responsibility projects, would continue to boost Nigeria’s food security.
On his part, Umar Abubakar, the Deputy Governor of Kebbi State reaffirmed the commitment to forging strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the fortification value chain.
“This stakeholder partnership aims to enhance the value of rice production through micronutrient fortification, resulting in multiple victories for our state,” Abubakar noted.
The Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Stevenson, commended Nigeria’s expansive Home-Grown School Feeding programme, targeting up to 10 million children.
He added that fortifying rice within this initiative, led by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, is essential to unlocking children’s full potential.
WACOT Rice Limited operates an integrated state-of-the-art rice mill in Argungu, Kebbi State. The mill is one of the largest rice mills in sub-Saharan Africa and sources paddy from various paddy-producing states across Nigeria.