Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State, on Sunday laid the foundation for the construction of a N15 billion paddy rice processing company in Katsina.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Darma Rice Mill is being constructed by the Chairman of Max Air and AFDIN Construction Company, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.

The governor said that it was a commendable investment which was expected to generate over 10,000 jobs when completed.

Masari said that it was important for the private sector to complement governments efforts at resuscitating the economy by investing in areas that would create jobs and drive economic growth.

“Mangal has answered the call of Mr President to people to go back to farm, farming is our life and everything.

“Whoever is committed to such initiative is making a sacrifice, only Allah knows the number of people who will benefit from the project.

“We should pray to the Almighty Allah to enable him complete the project,” he said.

The governor assured that the state government would support all initiatives aimed at moving the state forward.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of the company, Alhaji Fahad Mangal, said when completed, the company would process 300,000 metric tons of rice per annum.

“The company will process 16 metric tons of paddy rice per hour, it will have two lines of 150,000 per annum, with their own Captive Power Plant of 2MW each,” he said.

He added that the project, which was divided into two phases, would be completed by the first quarter of 2020.

According to him, the project would assist the country to meet the domestic demand for high quality parboiled rice and attain self sufficiency in rice production.

He further said that it would also assist in reducing poverty among the citizens.

“Once commissioned, the rice mill will provide not less than 10,000 jobs in the state, which will go a long way in boosting the local economy and engaging local farmers.

“The company will look into boosting local production of rice by providing produce off taking platforms, thereby increasing the incomes of smallholder farmers in the state,” Mangal said.

The executive director also said that they would soon launch the Gobarau Agro Allied Fertilizers Blending Plant in Katsina, which would cost about N1.5 billion.

He noted that the projects would greatly develop the state and boost agricultural activities in the country.