This was disclosed by the Managing Director, Santuscom Agro Hub, Chief Ofana Paul, at a media briefing ahead of the launch in Abuja, while explaining the essence of establishing the park.
According to Paul the agro park by his company is to address youth unemployment and also to make Nigeria a leading agribusiness country in Africa through massive exportation of varieties of agricultural commodities, which he also made known that countries in West and Central Africa are demanding rice and other commodities from Nigeria, particularly from Santuscom Agro Hub.
Some of the products to be produced in the park include Ogoja, pure groundnut oil, Ogoja rice, Ogoja plantain flour, Ogoja palm oil, Ogoja tomato, Ogoja bean flour, Ogoja yam flour, and Ogoja potato.
The company is an indigenous farming, food processing and packaging firm established over two years ago and is based in Ogoja, Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State.
He said: “We have capacity due to the huge investment on ground, which we have established a massive Santuscom Agro Park with private investment, and this park will commence food processing, production, packing and marketing. We also will train young agropreneurs.
“The Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade will commission the park on December 23, 2018, in Okuku, Yala Cross River State, along with the Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Dr Rose Oko and Member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, and other top government functionaries including investors will be there. Governor Ayade has already order 5, 000 bags of 50 kgs of Ogoja rice.
“The 50kg Ogoja rice we are launching through our partners we are subsidizing for N15, 000 per bag making affordable for Nigerians nationwide. We have chain of distributors, which we have agreed with our distributors to sell at N15, 000 per 50kg bag, N7, 500 for 25kg bag, N3, 000 for 10kg, and N2, 000 for 5kg, and we will also review the price in the future. We already have demands from other West African countries for our rice.
“Our mill is 50 metric tonnes installed capacity with private sector investment, we have not accessed any loans and grants from government, but we strongly believe that what we have on ground could attract government’s attention.
“We also have basic infrastructure on the ground with our investment, and with our collaboration to stop importation and export we can feed the whole of West Africa. This rice is locally cultivated, processed, produced and packaged”.
According to him they have a 150 hectare of rice farm running all year round with irrigation facility with enough paddy to support production, and also expressed optimism that with what they have will be able to meet up the production capacity including support of government that which will enable them to export rice to other parts of West Africa. He also added that all raw materials are sourced locally.
Meanwhile, he stated that the park after the launch will provide jobs for 5, 000 young people, where they will also be trained in their chosen area of agribusiness, which a hectare of land will be given to youths who are ready for agribusiness. He added that all investments will be insured under federal government’s agric insurance scheme.