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 has commissioned its N20 billion Tomato processing factory, in Kebbi State.
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 factory is said to be 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 finished, the factory will be the largest fresh tomatoes processing factory in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The commissioning of this processing factory is a great milestone for us,” said Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, GBfoods. “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.”
Egbe said GBfoods 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, fertilizers, training, and irrigation pumps, further to reduce post-harvest losses GBfoods also provided free plastic crates to farmers,” he said.
The investment, in the world-class factory and adjoining farm, 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 company said the project has created over 1,000 jobs including 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs.
The factory is fully backwardly integrated to the company’s farm and dedicated out-growers.
In the coming tomatoes 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 tomatoes season, to grow fresh tomatoes.
Additional land is expected in September 2020 to be cleared and prepared for the farming season of October 2021. This expansion will be similarly accompanied by an upgrade in the factory’s capacity and creation of new jobs, the company said.
The CEO of GBfoods Africa, Vicenç Bosch, commended the FG, CBN, the State and Local governments as well the MDAs that ensured the successful completion of the factory.
Bosch said GBFoods’ 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.
GBfoods is the maker of popular brands in Gino Tomatoes Mix, Gino Pepper Onion, Gino Thyme, Gino Curry, Gino Chicken and Beef Cubes, Bama Mayonnaise as well as Jago Mayonnaise.