CBN, GBfoods Complete N20bn Tomato Processing Factory In Kebbi.

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GBfoods, a global leader in culinary product manufacturing, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kebbi State government and the Emirate of Yauri have completed the building of a N20 billion 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 completed, 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 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.

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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.

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 actualisation 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 inauguration 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.

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“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, fertilisers, 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.”

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He especially thanked the Buhari administration, the Kebbi 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.

Apart from training the out-growers on good agricultural practices, GBfoods also provided them with tomato seedlings, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes to enable 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.

In the coming tomato 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 smallholder farmers as out-growers, in the coming tomato planting season, to grow fresh tomatoes.

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