Kogi’s Journey to Food Sufficiency-Omi Dam

On Tuesday last week, I was briefing the governor, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello on my trip to Omi Dam in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi, Monday last week, telling the governor how large was the dam and its associated potentials.

The governor said to me ”Muhammed, I was marvelled the first day I visited Omi dam with some members of our economic team. A large volume of water with vast agricultural land surrounding it and the state could not harness that resource for the benefit of the people. We started working on the dam immediately, first; to see how we can begin the irrigation system for mechanised farming second, how we can treat the water and reticulate to solve problem of inadequate good drinking water in the entire Okun land of Kogi West Senatorial District and thirdly, to think how we can generate electricity to boost power supply in the area. We made quick commitment into the development of the dam. The minister of Water Resources has gone there. I’ve met the Minister of power, works and housing and briefed him on the latent potential of Omi dam which the state government was unlocking. We had a robust discussion and he gave me his words. I had a meeting with Alhaji Aliko Dangote on the need to begin rice cultivation in the area. He saw the passion and the commitment from our side, he swung into action. He started by empowering our youth in kogi state, providing them with one hectre of land each, rice seedlings and all the tools and logistics they need from start to finish. These youths are all graduates and are gainfully engaged today. On our own side as government; we have 800 hectares of farmland and we are empowering not less than a thousand youths in rice cultivation. Having seen the viability of rice production there, we pulled the bull by the horn by starting the construction of Rice Mill in Ejiba. Installations of equipment at the Rice Mill will be completed in few weeks from now. I have also whispered to Baba on the development and progress we are making at Omi dam, CPS; something will happen there soon, let wait”.

Three days after, the news came in that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the concessions of 5 Hydro dams to facilitate electricity supply to rural and agrarian community. 2MW Omi-Kampe dam was one of the dams as announced by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing & Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development yesterday.

The Confluence Rice Mill In Ejiba has the following features;

– The rice milling plant is a 50 ton per day capacity with a 80 tons parboiling capacity. However the 50 ton process can be completed in 8 hours, which means when put to maximum capacity the plant can easily run over 3000 tons per month and over 36,000 tons per year. This is equivalent to the production of over 720,00 50kg rice bags per year.

– The Kogi rice milling process will not only produce finished international standard quality rice but also the following by-products.

Rice Bran

The rice bran is part of the products used in making fish feed. The Kogi Rice Milling Industry will set up a mini fish feed processing plant for community empowerment, which will generate up to over 200 direct and indirect jobs.

Brown Rice

In most countries the brown rice is used for making local beer, depending on the quantity the Kogi Rice Milling Industry can get per ton, the industry can either sell to the open market or create a local beer factory to create empowerment and more business around the area.

Rice Husk

The rice husk will be used as the industry’s 100% fuel to power the 500 kWh biomass generation plant which runs the industry. This will drastically reduce operation cost as the industry will not be buying fuel to power the plant.

Broken Rice

The broken rice can be used to make rice flour, depending on the quantity, the industry is set to also produce Confluence Rice Flour which will soon be in the market.

Independent Power Generation.

The plant has its own independent power generation plant which is powered through biomass gasification technology. The capacity of the plant is 500 kWh and the rice milling plant capacity at every processing line (shift) is 200kwh which means the industry generate more power that it needs.

With this development, the Kogi Rice Milling Industry will have an excess power of 300kwh which will be used to power strategic locations in the community.

800 Hectares Rice Farm

Currently, the Industry has 800 hectares nucleus rice farm that feeds the processing plant, the 800 hectares produces around 3200 tons of paddy yearly, the processing plant will consume the 3,200 tons in just a month meaning, expanded rice cultivation is encouraged to meet the feedstock.

The industry will purchase paddy from local farmers across the state and also increase the capacity of its nucleus farm to meet up with the rice milling plant production capacity per year.

As today, the farm is currently generating 300 direct jobs, which comprises of farm staffs, hunters and equipment operators.

The industry can also generate over 5000 indirect jobs through its Out-Growers empowerment program, last year it empowered 150 local farmers through the office of Her Excellency the Wife of the Executive Governor of Kogi State.

General Employment

Once the rice mill commences operation this February, the industry will be employing another hundreds of staff, as it plan to run the plant at the maximum capacity on two session day and night shift per day. Each shift will produce over 50 tons of finished Confluence rice.

The Kogi Rice Milling industry, through its processing operation gives more nutritive food and conserves rice by way of recoveries. It also increases the shelf life of rice.

By establishing the Rice Milling Industry; His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello is Using one stone to kill two birds; while fighting food insecurity by increasing food production, he is also fighting the scourge of unemployment by creating direct and indirect jobs.

The dam will now be used for Power generation, Flood prevention, Land reclamation.
Aside irrigation system for dry season farming, Omi dam will be used for regional Water supply Scheme for the entire Okun Land.

His Excellency has also said that road linking Odoere-Iyamerin-Igbaruku-Odoara-Omi-Ogga is to receive urgent government attention.

This is what the NEW DIRECTION stands for and Gov Yahaya Bello is steering the ship to the next level of development.

Media Unit
Government House, Lokoja.

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