Alhaji Bilyaminu Ohtman, the Emir of Dass in Bauchi State, yesterday attributed the failure of rice mills in his domain to "human error and neglect".
Othman also said the rice mills failed after several attempts, because of lack of government genuine commitment to develop the agricultural sector.
The traditional ruler made the observation in Dass, headquarters of Dass Local Government while inaugurating a rice processing centre initiated by TAKDAN Women Fadama Users Group.
He said the three rice mills established in the area, including that of the Better Life for Rural Women during the regime of Ibrahim Babangida, collapsed due to human errors and neglect.
The traditional ruler encouraged the various women groups struggling to establish rice mills in the area and pledged to support their effort.
He advised the TAKDAN group against sharing the entire profits realised from the venture, but to reserve certain percentage that could be used as maintenance cost to enable them to sustain the centre.
Othman, however, commended the state Fadama III Project for assisting the centre with fund which had enabled the group to establish the centre and called on other associations in the area to emulate the women group.
Earlier, the Secretary of the Group, Hajiya Hajara Bello, had told the gathering that the centre was established in 2008 and started its activities manually till it was registered in 2012 as Fadama Users Group with the state Fadama III Project.
Bello said the group secured a grant from the project, which approved 85 per cent of the cost of the project while the group contributed 15 per cent of the total cost.
The state Coordinator of Fadama III Project, Dr. Ali Garba, said the project has allocated N12 million to the centre while the group contributed N3 million. Garba described the centre as one of the best in the North-East sub-region.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Tasiu Abubakar, said such venture would reduce the country's dependence on foreign rice and it was in line with the Federal Government Agricultural Transformation Agenda.