With regards to the Federal Government’s Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), with an ambitious backward integration programme aimed at setting Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in sugar production, the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN Group), will on Thursday commission a N50b Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger State.
The sugar estate, located on the banks of River Niger, in Mokwa, featuring 17, 000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill that process 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane per day, considered as the company’s biggest agricultural investment in Nigeria, will be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to a statement made available to The Guardian, the sugar estate, owned by Sunti Golden Sugar Estates (SGSE) Ltd., a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc., will at full capacity, produce one million tons of sugarcane, which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.
Enclosed within a 35-kilometer dyke, the production facility area is 15,100 hectares, with cane area that features a maximum output of 10, 000 hectares. The dyke provides flood protection from the River Niger. Over N1b was invested in the state-of-the-art irrigation system that will ensure efficient cultivation of sugarcane, with infrastructure that includes drain pumps, pump stations, and a power grid.
The statement said the farm at the peak of production will provide direct employment for about 10,000 people yearly, and impact up to 50,000 people indirectly, including 3,000 small-scale out growers who will be cultivating sugarcane to feed the mill.
“The estate has brought infrastructure benefits to the surrounding community, with 28 communities in total taking advantage of a new 30-kilometer road, plus expansive road networks that provide a variety of access routes to the homes of the indigenes. Drains, culverts, and flood-protection walls have also been constructed. The project illustrates the desire to reduce sugar importation, save billions in foreign exchange, boost local capacity, and reduce unemployment by putting thousands of Nigerians to work.
“The FMN Group’s mantra-Feeding the Nation, Everyday, is at the heart of the company’s strategic decisions on what they produce, how and where factories are set up, the level of care that is put into products, and how they interact with host communities and the wider environment,” the statement read.It added that the commissioning would be the first step towards a collective dream of agricultural progress for all in Nigeria.