Nigeria GBfoods completes $52 million tomato processing factory in Kebbi
…….. By Emesakoru Enifome
GBfoods, a global player in culinary product manufacturing, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kebbi State Government and the Emirate of Yauri recently built a N20 billion, approximately $52 million, Tomato processing factory, in Kebbi State.
The factory is the second largest in Nigeria and the only fully backward integrated plant in ECOWAS – and has the largest single tomatoes 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.
The investment, in the world-class factory and adjoining farm, includes a drip irrigation and fertigation infrastructure, greenhouses, seed planting robots, an 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 fully backwardly integrated to the company’s farm and 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 CEO of GBfoods Africa, Mr. Vicenç Bosch, commended the Federal Government for encouraging and supporting GBfoods to engage with CBN, Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure the successful completion of the factory. He also expressed his gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investments, Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, Kebbi State Government and the Ngaski Local Government Authorities for their tremendous support towards the actualization of the project. Mr. Bosch added our team of extension workers, consultants and agronomists are ensuring that the Nigerian farmers benefit from the technology transfer of our best practices and know-how built through over 40 years of successful tomato operations in Italy and Spain.
Speaking during opening of the factory, Mr Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, GBfoods Nigeria said, “The opening of this processing factory is a great milestone for us. It further demonstrates the company’s commitment towards helping Nigeria achieve its food security ambitions, in this case, of self-sufficiency in tomato concentrate production. We will continue to work with the Federal Government towards food security and local production and processing of fresh tomatoes. The company is dedicated to reducing pre and post-harvest losses, and also developing the value chain so as to improve revenue streams for tomato farmers. Over the past three years, in the three states of Kaduna, Katsina and Kebbi, GBfoods has worked with smallholder out-growers to boost their incomes by providing seedlings, fertilizers, training, and irrigation pumps, further to reduce post-harvest losses GBfoods also provided free plastic crates to farmers.”
“GBfoods is working with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the CBN to make Nigeria not only a shining example in food security, but also to become the food basket of Africa. He especially thanked the Buhari administration, the Kebbi Governor, His Excellency Governor Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele; and the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammad Zayyanu Abdullahi for working tirelessly to create an enabling investment environment for GBfoods backwards integration project in tomatoes,” comments Mr Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, GBfoods Nigeria.
Additional land is expected in September 2020 to be cleared and prepared for the farming season of October 2021. This expansion will be similarly accompanied by an upgrade in the factory’s capacity. With the expansion, new jobs will also be created.
GBfoods has a wide range of quality well-established brands in Nigeria such as Gino, Bama and Jago, under which they manufacture a wide range of quality products that make the daily lives of many African families easier. Products under their brands include Gino Tomatoes Mix; Gino Pepper Onion, Gino Thyme; Gino Curry; Gino Chicken and Beef Cubes; Bama Mayonnaise as well as Jago Mayonnaise. GBfoods investments aim to satisfy local culinary habits and preferences whilst offering the healthiest and best ingredients for the Nigerian cuisine.