Towards achieving food sufficiency in the country, GB Foods Nigeria, a leading global manufacturer of culinary products, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and the Yauri Emirate recently built a #20 billion Tomato processing factory, in Kebbi State, In a move to increase local capacity, food security and also to protect farmers from post-harvest loses.
According to the company, the move was apt to bolster the strength of the agricultural value-chain to improve revenue streams by boosting the backwards integration programme through local sourcing of raw materials by encouraging farmers and outgrowers with chemical subsidised seeds and agro-allied processing.
Specifically, the factory is the second largest in Nigeria and it integrates backwards and has the largest single tomato farm in Nigeria. When all phases of the project are finished, the factory will be the largest fresh tomatoes processing factory in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Simply put, the investment is a world-class factory and adjoining farm, including a drip irrigation infrastructure, fertigation, greenhouses, seed planting robots, incubation chambers and a plethora of agricultural machinery. The farm will serve a dual purpose, it will produce industrial tomatoes in the dry season and soya beans in the raining season. The tomato factory will convert fresh tomatoes into tomato concentrate used for producing Gino Tomatoes Paste and Gino Tomato Pepper Onion Paste while the soya bean will be used to process soya-bean oil which is a critical ingredient for GBfoods’ Bama and Jago Mayonnaise.
The project created over a 1,000 jobs including: 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs. GBfoods also engaged many small holder farmers as out-growers. Apart from training the out-growers on good agricultural practices, GBfoods provided them with tomatoes seedlings, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes, enabling the farmers access to water in the dry season. GBfoods also supported the host communities by providing and maintaining 16 boreholes of drinking water, a first for some of the surrounding villages.
The factory is backwardly integrated to the company’s farm with dedicated out-growers. In the coming tomatoes season, the plant will also source most of its raw material from out-growers who will grow the tomatoes on their own farms and from GBfoods’ owned and operated farm. The factory is engaging over 5,000 small holder farmers as out-growers, in the coming tomatoes season, to grow fresh tomatoes.
The company revealed that it earned a revenue inflow of £1.3billion in Africa and middle East and it also donated #100million to the Nigerian government to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
GB Foods stated that in this time, when companies are reducing headcounts by downsizing their workforce through layoffs, we have fully kept our labour force fully engaged and employed while adding that GB foods will continue to localise and expand corporations in Nigeria by sourcing for tomatoes and training farmers for food security and create physical security of jobs for the workers.