It is now clear to many African nations that the only way to make their economies grow is to add value to agricultural production. A particular case is that of Nigeria, where efforts in the agro-food sector have intensified in recent years: the good news is that there are many companies investing in the sector and, among these, the 46 million euro tomato processing plant that GBfoods recently built in the state of Kebbi, located in the north-west of the country, stands out.
One of the main news in Africa is precisely the investment made by the Spanish giant, together with the central bank of Nigeria and the state of Kebbi, with the aim of enabling the country to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of tomato sauce. The newly constructed plant is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
The investment will not only make it possible to transform tomatoes into sauce, but also to produce tomatoes during the dry season (and soybeans during the rainy season): the adjacent farm includes greenhouses, state-of-the-art irrigation systems, planting robots and other machinery.
The project has created more than 1,000 jobs, including 500 in agriculture, 150 in the factory and another 150 in its construction, not to mention that at least five thousand small farmers will grow tomatoes to be used in the plant, with GBfoods providing them with quality seeds, fertilizer and equipment such as water extraction pumps and irrigation pipes.
Many in Nigeria have enthusiastically embraced the project because it adds value to tomato production. And this is not an isolated case, as many other initiatives are in the pipeline.
Green Imperative Project
Just in these days the Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it wants to build in six areas of Nigeria as many as 142 plants that will be funded by the Green Imperative project, which sees the governments of Nigeria and Brazil invest 1.2 billion dollars in order to add value to Nigerian agricultural production.
The program will be implemented over a period of five to ten years, will be supported by the Development Bank of Brazil and Deutsche Bank and will finance the purchase of equipment for processing, drying, canning, storage and marketing of agricultural products and will create five million jobs and bring ten billion dollars into the Nigerian economy.
Nigeria is a fast-growing market and, like many other African nations, the average age is very young.
From the boom of online betting, preferred by young people, to the search for financial independence, there is no doubt that the country is going through a process of change and development.