Saro Group of Companies has invested not less than N24bn in an integrated farm in Edo State, in a concerted effort to boost local production of raw materials for use in the manufacturing sector, especially the food and beverages sub-sector.
The chief executive officer of Saro Group of Companies, Mr. Rasheed Sarumi, who disclosed this during an inspection of the farm site, said the integrated agricultural project was a joint venture between Saroafrica and Mohinani Group under the Green Hills Agric Projects.
He hailed the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government for creating a business-friendly environment, noting that the factory would be commissioned in quarter one, 2023.
Sarumi said the project was valued at N24 billion, adding, “This is an integrated agricultural project. This factory needs 480 tonnes of cassava per day and there are about 5,000 hectares of land to grow. Already 1,500 have been grown; 350 people from neighboring communities will work here on the feedstock alone.
The 480 tonnes per day will be converted to waste for feedstock for the piggery.”
On his part, Governor Obaseki said “This project is very significant and important as it is a project where almost a 100 percent of raw materials needed are sourced locally and 100 percent of the outputs are feedstock to other companies and industries, particularly in the food and beverages sector, whether it’s ethanol or carbon dioxide.”
The governor said the company is a beneficiary of the state’s tax credit scheme which has influenced the construction of a 3km road in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha local government of the state.
According to him, “It’s a very innovative finance method; the first to be used by a state government in Nigeria. The federal government does tax credit for big, large corporate organizations but here, we, as a state, have been able to attract an investor and used his tax credit to enhance infrastructural development in the state.
“We are lucky in the state because we have an investor and partner like Saro Africa who believes in Africa, Nigeria, and in our state. These projects were conceptualized about five years ago but construction could not commence until last year due to various challenges.”