• Monday, April 22, 2024
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GB Foods opens N20bn tomato processing plant to cut import bill

GB Foods opens N20bn tomato processing plant to cut import bill

GB Foods, a leading culinary business across Africa and Europe has opened a N20 billion state-of-the-art tomato processing plant in Kebbi state to boost paste production in Africa’s most populous nation and help reduce import bill of the commodity.

The farm and factory, spanning 1,500 hectares of land, boasts a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and generates 2,000 jobs, which GB Foods plans to double in the next expansion phase. When completed, the farm and processing facility will be Africa’s biggest integrated tomato project.

President Bola Tinubu, while inaugurating the processing plant last week Friday in Gafara village of Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi state, reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing a conducive environment for private investors to operate in the country.

The President who was represented by Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture lauded GB Foods’ investment, which he said affirms the confidence of foreign investors in Nigeria’s policy environment.

“Let me say that this is the second time I’m coming to Kebbi State in a little over a month. First, I visited a rice mill, the largest in West Africa, and today I’m visiting the largest tomato factory in Africa, all in Kebbi State,” he added.

In his speech, Nasir Idris, Kebbi state governor commended the company for its boldness in tackling challenges head-on. He expressed gratitude to the company for engaging 3,335 local out-growers for tomato production in the state and pledged full government support to ensure the plant operates at maximum capacity.

Idris emphasized the significance of the factory as the largest tomato processing facility and promised to provide the necessary assistance and protection for its success.

Also, Vincent Egbe, GB Foods Nigeria’s CEO, expressed gratitude to the special guest and attendees, adding, “During the 2022-23 seasons, GB Foods’ farm and factory in Kebbi played a pivotal role in generating 75 percent of the total tomato concentrate produced in Nigeria.

Despite this significant contribution, the demand still exceeds the supply, highlighting the need for further expansion and advancement in the sector, he said.

In December 2023, the company further solidified its position by expanding its Lagos tomato sachet factory to an unprecedented 100,000 metric tons, securing its position as the largest of its kind globally.

Egbe reiterated that GB Foods is expanding its investment despite the macroeconomic challenges so Nigeria can become self-sufficient in tomato production and an export hub.

“Today’s ground-breaking event is a testament to what we stand for and the potential of investments in Nigeria.”

We have laid the foundation as the first large-scale tomato processing company in Nigeria to expand into backward integration, constructing a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and developing 1,500 hectares of tomato farms here in Kebbi State.”

“We are fully committed to long-term investment across the entire agricultural value chain in alignment with the federal government’s quest for employment and, most significantly, ensure food security across the country”, he added.

The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Juan Sell, Ignasi Ricou and Vicenç Bosch, and key executives of GB Foods global CEO and Africa CEO. Also present Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi, Emir of Yauri, and members of the National Assembly representing Kebbi State, and Kebbi State Executive Council members.