Four Mills pledges N160bn to develop Nigeria sugar backward integration
Nigeria’s food and agro-allied group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc has announced an increased investment in sugar production that will soon put its financial commitment to the Nigeria sugar value chain at N160 billion.
This is coming with the expansion of itt Sunti Golden Sugar estates to 22,000 hectares by acquiring an additional 5,200 hectares of land at Sunti.
It explained in a corporate disclosure at be the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday that the investment is a move to further reaffirm its commitment to the backward integration strategy of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan as well as the overall growth of the sugar industry in Nigeria.
Flour Mills of Nigeria said in the disclosure that the development will immensely increase the production capacity of the sugar estate as it will also translate into the expansion of sugar production capacity of the mill.
Also, the company upland acquisition will bring the total land size of Sunti Golden Sugar Estate substantially to 22,000 hectares of land while the total land area under cane will be 15,000 hectares.
Flour Mills further said that to emphasize the importance of the sugar value chain, and in support of the government’s overall strategy of raising the profile of agriculture while diversifying the economy, it had effectively unveiled an elaborate but cautious plan to continue to deliver its commitment to Nigerians.
Once fully developed, it is projected that Golden Sugar Company, Flour Mills Nigeria’s subsidiary and operator of the estate will have over 25,000 hectares of land under cane, including the earlier announced proposed investments in Nasarawa state.
“This will result in the production of approximately 250,000 tonnes of sugar per year, significantly increase local sugar production, reduce dependence on food imports, and save foreign exchange,” the disclosure read.
The company further disclosed that the project is a winning model that shows how corporate organisations in Nigeria can successfully partner with local communities for mutual growth as the 10 neighbouring communities who will be impacted by the additional land acquisitions have fully signed up to the development plant of Sunti in the first phase of the development, will also benefit from an additional 15 kilometres of all-weather, heavy-duty road that is already under construction, expanded youth job opportunities, including the extension of its out-grower scheme that empowers farmers and a number of the social infrastructure projects that will improve lives.
The company said that the total project cost to achieve the plan has been set at a minimum of about N160 billion including the new sugar Mill at Nasarawa State.