Nigeria Sugar Cane Estate: President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to inaugurate the N50 billion Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger State on Thursday.
Located on the banks of River Niger in Mokwa, the estate is owned by Sunti Golden Sugar Estates (SGSE) Limited, a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
A statement from the company said the sugar estate features 17,000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill which processes 4,500 metric tonnes of sugarcane daily.
At full capacity, the estate is expected to produce one million tonnes of sugarcane, which roughly translates to 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar yearly.
Enclosed within a 35-kilometre dyke, the production facility area is 15,100 hectares, with a sugar cane area that features a maximum output of 10,000 hectares.
The dyke provides flood protection from the River Niger. Over N1 billion was invested in the irrigation system to ensure efficient cultivation of sugarcane, with facilities such as drain pumps, pump stations and a power grid.
The estate is a representation of the Federal Government’s Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) with an ambitious backward integration programme to set Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in sugar production. The farm at peak production will provide direct employment for about 10,000 yearly, and will impact up to 50,000 indirectly, including 3,000 small-scale out-growers who cultivate sugarcane to feed the mill.
According to the statement, the estate has brought infrastructure to surrounding communities, with 28 taking advantage of the new 30-kilometre road that provide a variety of access routes to indigenes. Drains, culverts and flood-protection walls have also been constructed.
The project, the statement noted, 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 Flour Mills Group’s mantra: “Feeding the Nation, Everyday”, is at the heart of its strategic decisions on what it produces, how and where factories are set up, the level of care that is put into products and how it interacts with host communities and the larger environment.