A tomato paste factory built by the Dangote group which will employ 200 Nigerians and impact on about 40,000 farm families is to be inaugurated soon in Kano
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Feb. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Dangote Group is set to inaugurate a tomatoes paste factory worth N2.5 billion in Kadawa, Kura local government area of Kano State. The factory will employ more than 200 Nigerians and impact on more than 40,000 families engaging in tomatoes farming within the area.
Sani Dangote, vice president of Dangote Group and chairman Dangote Farms, said recently in Kano, said that with maximum support from Kano State government and the federal government, the firm was ready to expand by 100 percent in two years’ time, giving more economic opportunities to tomatoes farmers and the unemployed youths. “There are about 40,000 families farming in this community and they are all planting tomatoes that will be processed in the factory. There will be the logistics side in the employment; there will be people who will be supplying things like basket, fertiliser and other needs of the farmers.
“There are other industries that will need the paste. What we are doing here is to package 240 kilos which many industries that need tomatoes paste are importing from China, Italy and the USA. They no longer need to import because we are producing 100 per cent of what they import and this is made by Nigeria and for Nigerians. So, I cannot count the number of people that are going to be directly employed. I know directly, there are over 40, 000 families that are farmers. Secondly, the industry will employ over 200 workers—if we double our capacity that will be more.
“Then, there are other services that are going to be around. I can assure you that in two months’ time, the value of land around this area will be different because of the factory. What we have done is to work with the farmers to agree with them on the cost of their inputs and what is the cost net of their delivery to the farm and the factory and we guarantee them a fixed price within the season and that will ensure the farmer is no longer suspicious of the price,” he said.
According to him, “The only call we are making to the government is to ensure that they should not allow importation of tomatoes paste because it will kill the ambition of the farmers and our own ambition. So we call on all the stakeholders, from the farmers, the factory, the state and federal government to work together and make it a success. We pray that we Nigerians will wake up and ensure that it is a success because there is nothing better than empowering your farmers, your own people rather than empowering other countries; and become dependent on their products while we can produce it 100 per cent and even export to other countries. So, I believe that the number of employment is enormous and poverty can only be eradicated by providing jobs and meaningful life to the society,” he said.
Dangote called on the federal government to support indigenous manufacturers through cogent policies that could checkmate the influx of sub-standard and out-dated foreign products into the country.
Meanwhile, the federal government has expressed its readiness to end the importation of processed tomato paste into the country. The Staple Crop Processing Zone Development, SCPZ, team of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, recently visited the Dangote Tomato processing factory in Kano State. Niyi Odunlami, leader of the team to Dangote factory, said the improved status of the processing plant was intended to increase dependence on locally made products rather than dependence on imported ones.
“This started even in the days of high oil revenue, as the minister of agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, worked towards meeting the huge, local and regional demand for processed foods, conserving foreign exchange, boosting food security, improving on nutrition for Nigerians, creating wealth for Nigerian farmers and developing rural economic space. It is needless to begin to say the obvious on the transformation potentials of what Dangote Farms has done here today, for local farmers, for local youth and for the nation’s economy. We developed the SCPZ Programme to identify major agricultural production clusters, like the Kadawa-Bunkure axis and to designate and appoint a delimited zone for attracting private sector investments into modern processing of locally produced crops, livestock, fisheries and related agribusiness activities,” he said.