By Patricia Amogu
Pet Agro Farms, a Nigerian-based Indian firm, says plans are on to invest about N150 million in Nigeria via production and processing of oil palm, cashew, and other agricultural products .
The agro-firm said the initiative had become imperative to penetrate the foreign market and earn forex during the ongoing forex crisis in the country.
The Director, Pet Agro Farm, Ms Rehab Danladi, on Wednesday told the News Agency of NIgeria (NAN) in an interview in Abuja that the farm was looking to start up with 40 plots of land in Kogi.
“We are already working closely with the Bank of Industry for the local market production while talks are already ongoing with the NEXIM Bank to finance export .
“There is need for us to go to backward integration now, enough is enough for import, while we process , 80 per cent will be going into the export market, while 20 per cent will be for the local market,” she explained.
According to the director, it’s all about value-chain, as even wastes from these products from palm kernel, soya bean and others can be converted to poultry feeds that will also boost poultry farming
Dalandi said the investment would help Nigeria to reclaim its position as a leading global palm oil and cashew producer.
“Currently, the total production of raw cashew in Nigeria is about 1.4 million metric tons annually, which is far from the country’s potentials of over 10 million tons.
“The initiative will contribute to the country’s agricultural industry and provide employment opportunities to the Nigerian youths’ while ensuring sustainable wealth creation through farming and education on good investment,” Dalandi said.
She added that the firm would be buying seedlings from the farmers and would also provide hybrid seeds to help farmers scale up their productivity.
NAN reports that Nigeria is the 7th largest producer of palm kernel and palm oil in high demand globally but can only get FOREX for Nigeria if maximally harnessed and exported (NAN) www.nanews.ng
Edited by Vivian Ihechu