To further boost food production in Nigeria, the World Bank, under its Growth and Employment (GEM) scheme, has provided business support for the production of Abakaliki rice.
Under the arrangement, the World Bank is providing financial support to Ainotrans Energy, producers of Abakaliki rice, to enable it engage the services of vendors that will aid in carrying out its marketing drive. The World Bank GEM project is one of the economic empowerment initiatives of the present administration.
According to the CEO, Ainotrans Energy, Innocent Mbey, “Abakaliki rice is high quality rice at affordable price. Abakaliki rice is purely natural, 100 per cent local, with very high nutritional value, and 100 per cent stone and husk free. Our rice is produced using the very best practices available and the World Bank support will even help us provide quality food to Nigeria’s teeming population.”
The World Bank said that a mechanism to ensure full implementation of objectives contained in the selected proposals was already in place while a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation work plan had been designed.
The idea behind the GEM programme, the World Bank noted, “is to further support the presidency’s drive to celebrate and empower the most promising and highly scalable indigenous technology start-ups that are providing innovative solutions to local challenge.
The GEM project requested for submission of business proposals from eligible applicants of the AVDD 2016 programme of which 289 applicants were screened before the final 81 were eventually picked after a rigorous process of vetting.