Dangote Group has vehemently condemned the malicious broadcast alleging a partnership between the company and the Federal Government for the importation and sales of genetically modified organism (GMO) rice.
The said GMOs refer to a food item or an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some ways through genetic engineering. In most cases, GMOs have been altered with DNA from another organism, be it a bacterium, plant, virus or animal.
According to the group in statement made available to pressmen on Tuesday, “it is absolutely false! Dangote is not involved in the production or sales of GMOs and its research in Nigeria or anywhere.
“However, what people should know is the ground breaking progress Dangote Rice has made since 2014 when it stopped importation of rice and began local cultivation,” the statement read in part.
Putting the records straight, the company stated the following:
2014: Dangote signed $1billion agreement with FG or integrated rice production in Kebbi, Niger, Jigawa and Kwara
2016: Started a multibillion naira Rice Outgrower Scheme over 8,000 hectares in Hadejia, Jigawa State
2016: Created over 10,000 jobs (Direct and indirect) to farmers who are an integral part of the Rice Outgrower Scheme
FARO 44 rice seeds distributed to farmers during the Outgrower Scheme was sourced from Africa Rice and certified by the National Agricultural Seeds Council.
“The intent of this broadcast is to bring into disrepute the hard earned reputation of Dangote and the actualization of its vision of making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production.
“Moreover, with the ever watchful eagle eyes of organizations such as NAFDAC, SON, CPC with mandate to ensure food safety, how can a big organisation like Dangote import and flood the market with poisonous rice,” the group noted.