President MuhammaduBuhari will on March 15, 2018, commission Flour Mills of Nigeria biggest agriculture investment in Nigeria, Sunti Golden Sugar Estate atMokwa, Niger State valued at over N50 billion.
The group said the project illustrates its desire to reduce sugar imports, save billions in foreign exchange, boost local capacity, and reduce unemployment by putting thousands of Nigerians to work.
Located on the banks of River Niger, the sugar estate features 17, 000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill that processes 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane per day and at full capacity, the estate is expected to produce one million tons of sugarcane which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.
Enclosed within a 35-kilometer dyke, the production facility area is 15,100 hectares, with a cane area that features a maximum output of 10, 000 hectares. The dyke provides flood protection from the River Niger.
While noting that it has invested over N1billion in state-of-the-art irrigation system that would ensure the efficient cultivation of sugarcane, with infrastructure that includes drain pumps, pump stations, and a power grid, the group describedthe project as the purest representation of the federal government’s Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) with an ambitious backward integration programme that is tailored to set Nigeria on the path to self-sufficiency in sugar production.
The statement further stressed that , “The farm at peak production will provide direct employment for about 10,000 people yearly, and impact up to 50,000 people indirectly, including 3,000 small-scale out growers who will be cultivating sugarcane to feed the mill.”
This is in consonance with the company’s policy of “feeding the Nation, everyday,” and is at the heart of its strategic decisions on what they produce, how and where factories are set up, the level of care that is put into products, and how they interact with host communities and the wider environment.
“The commissioning of the Sunti Golden Sugar Estate will be the first step towards a collective dream of agricultural progress for all in Nigeria,” the group said.
In addition, it stated that the estate has brought infrastructure benefits to the surrounding community, with 28 communities in total taking advantage of a new 30-kilometer road, expansive road networks that provide a variety of access routes to the homes of the indigenes.
Drains, culverts, and flood-protection walls have also been constructed.
This investment is coming at a time when government is aggressively pursuing a diversification of the economy.