Olam joins in Nigeria’s food sufficiency quest
September 13, 2017 | 1:12 pm| | | Start Conversation
Olam’s one hundred and fifty million dollars feed mills and poultry farms commissioned in Kaduna Tuesday joins a growing list of massive new investments in agriculture helping to prepare Africa’s largest economy for food self-sufficiency say analysts.
Other Nigerian companies making significant new investment in agriculture in the country include Presco Plc and PZ Wilmar which are expanding their palm-oil output.
Dangote Group, controlled by the continent’s richest man Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $3.8 billion in sugar and $800 million in dairy products over the next three years.
Olam, which started operation in Nigeria in 1989 with purchases of cashew nuts, cocoa and shea nuts, is now one of the world’s largest food traders with its presence in 70 countries and last year, 16 percent of its revenue of $20.6 billion came from Africa, led by Nigeria.
The Kaduna investment include bird- and fish-feed mills with the capacity for 360,000 metric tons each, located in the northern Kaduna and western Kwara states, and a hatchery to produce 1.6 million day-old chicks weekly.
Feeds produced are estimated to support the production of 8 billion eggs and 100-million kilograms of poultry a year.
According to Olam, “our new facilities will invigorate the industry by closing the supply gap in animal feed.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was at the opening, welcomed the venture as important for “national growth” at a time his government is looking to agriculture to end the country’s dependence on oil, which provides two-thirds of state revenue.
A plunge in revenue caused by lower output and prices for oil saw Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people suffer its worst economic slump in 25 years and undermined Buhari’s ability to meet his campaign promises, such as rebuilding infrastructure, revitalizing the power industry and strengthening the national currency.
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