• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Buhler’s grain-processing center will address Nigeria food bottlenecks – Shettima

Of cannon fodders in Rivers and playing ping-pong with monarchs

Kashim Shettima, vice-president of Nigeria, has described the new grain-processing centre established by a firm named Buhler in Kano as a positive step towards addressing bottlenecks associated with grain production in the country.

He said the opening of the facility is in line with the goal of President Bola Tinubu administration, geared towards partnering with private bodies in the development of agriculture, and making food more accessible to Nigerians.

The VP, who said this on Thursday during the commissioning of the plant in Kano, noted that the growing population of the country makes it more imperative for local and international private business organisations to partner with the administration in the area of food production.

Read also: Buhler opens multi-billion local grains processing facility in Kano

Shettima, who spoke through Abubakar Kyari, Nigeria`s minister for agriculture and food security, observed that the new facility has the capacity of boosting the volume of grains being produced in the country.

He thanked the company and its partners, particularly John Conmantaros, managing director of Flour Mills of Nigeria, for believing in Nigeria and being a true friend of the country, which was demonstrated in the huge investment made by the company in Nigeria.

According to him, with the population projection of the country, which is estimated to reach 400 million in 2040, there is a need for a solid partnership in meeting the food needs of the expected population growth.

In his address earlier, Thomas Ogundiran, managing director of Buhler, said that the company has so far invested about $1 million US in the setting up the centre, noting that it will impact food production and processing in Nigeria and Africa.

He noted that his company, which has operational presence in Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire, decided to extend its presence to Nigeria, as part of a commitment to address the growing food insecurity in Africa.

“Buhler is partnering with the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, and Olam in starting this project in Kano state, known as the most active grains production hub in Nigeria, as well as a place where grains are being consumed for centuries.

“The grains application canter that we are commissioning today will be processing local and ancient grains which Nigerians are used to, and is designed as a sustainable and transformative means of addressing food insecurity.

“Today around 2.3 billion out of the total of eight billion global population lives in food-insecure environment, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. Nigeria’s specific advantages in local grains such as sorghum and millets can play a vital role in improving food security, particularly, in Africa.

” To address this challenge, Buhler is opening a dedicated Application and Training Center with research and development capabilities in Kano, Nigeria, together with its founding partner, Flour Mills of Nigeria, and its collaborating partners, such as Olam Agri,” he stated.

In his address at the occasion, John Conmantaros, chairman, Board of Flour Mills of Nigeria, said that the center will be impacting the food value chain, noting that it is also a business opportunity in new category of processed foods.

“FMN has always been at the forefront of driving food self-sufficiency in Nigeria and progressively across the continent. The application canter is well positioned to sustainably develop local grains, create business opportunities, and provide viable alternatives to some imported raw materials used in production.”