GBfoods, a global player in culinary product manufacturing, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kebbi State Government and the Emirate of Yauri has built a N20 billion Tomato processing factory, in Kebbi State.
The factory regarded as the second largest in Nigeria and the only fully backward integrated plant in ECOWAS has the largest single tomatoes farm in Nigeria. It has employed many Nigerians boosting the job creation in the country.
The company said when all phases of the project are finished, the factory will be the largest fresh tomatoes processing factory in Sub-saharan Africa. The investment, in the world-class factory and adjoining farm, according to the company includes drip irrigation and fertigation 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.
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 outgrowers. Apart from training the out-growers on good agricultural practices, Gbfoods provided them with tomatoes seedlings, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes, enabling 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.
The factory is engaging over 5,000 small holder farmers as out-growers, in the coming tomatoes season, to grow fresh tomatoes.
The CEO of Gbfoods Africa, 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 actualization of the project. 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 knowhow built through over 40 years of successful tomato operations in Italy and Spain.
Speaking during opening of the factory, according to a statement, Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, Gbfoods Nigeria said, “The opening 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.