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Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, commissions a greenhouse nursery in Nigeria to supply farmers with the best quality tomato seedlings, making Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production

Background

Dangote Tomatoes Processing Limited a subsidiary of Dangote Farms has unveiled an $8 million greenhouse nursery in Kano to supply the best quality tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers. The nursery uses the Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria. It has the capacity to process 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12000 hectares of tomato farm. The pat moose process takes 3 weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

Opportunities created by the Nursery

The setting of up this nursery means that the country is now on the trajectory of being self-sufficient in tomato production as well as exporting the surplus to the rest of the continent. Currently, Nigeria consumes 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually. With this technology, it has the capacity to more than triple tomato production enabling the exportation to countries in the sub-region.

Furthermore, this nursery will produce the highest quality tomato seedling available meaning that the farmers can grow the highest yield tomatoes. Currently, the yields produced by Nigerian farmers are less than the global standard. As a result, farmers will be able to earn more income from selling higher volumes of harvests each season.

The on-going agricultural revolution in Nigeria

Currently, Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari is undergoing an agricultural revolution. The government has banned the importation of rice and chicken into the country. The rice and poultry industry of the country had virtually collapsed due to the smuggling of the products through the country’s porous borders. Moreover, the president took the extra step of closing its borders with neighboring countries to prevent the influx of smuggled products into the country.

The implementation of these measures has produced results as Nigeria is now the largest producer of rice in Africa. Similarly, poultry farmers have lauded the government’s measures as they now have high demands for their products and many are working on expanding their facilities to accommodate this increasing demand.

Lesson for other African countries

Nigeria is on a trajectory to becoming self-sufficient in rice, tomatoes and poultry production. This means that millions of jobs will be created for her citizens. The African continent imports $40 billion of food annually despite having 65% of the world’s arable land. The public-private model on-going in Nigeria could be adopted by other African countries to also attain self-sufficiency in food production.

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Uganda commissions $30 million Industrial Skills Center that will teach students how to manufacture machines and accessories to help in the industrialization of the country

Background

The government of Uganda in collaboration with China has commissioned a $30 million Machine manufacturing skills center that will combine industrial training and apprenticeship. The industrial skills center was fully funded by China as a grant and is based at Namanve in Mukono District.

The benefits of the skills center

No country can develop without going through industrialization. With the inauguration of this center, Uganda is now on the path to achieving her industrialization ambitions.

Firstly, this center will provide the right environment for manufacturing the machines and equipment needed to bring the country into the industrial age. Uganda has various resources be it agriculture, oil, mining and others. The establishment of this center means that the country can develop home-made machines that will transform these resources into finished products.

Secondly, universities in the country such as Makerere University are conducting various researches for the benefits of the country and the region at large. But they face major handicaps in translating this research into innovative products and services that will impact society. Now this research institute will provide the link between academic research and industries.

Finally, if properly planned the private sector has a lot to gain from this initiative. For example, they could now confidently sponsor innovative research projects in Ugandan higher institutes knowing that the results of such research could be translated into real-life products and services that will positively impact their companies.

Industrial dreams of President Museveni

Uganda’s president Museveni frequently laments about how Africa missed out on the industrial revolution and that he will do his utmost to make sure that Uganda industrializes. With this objective, Uganda has formed a burgeoning partnership with China thas has continued to flourish and is leading the country towards its dreams of being a middle-income country. Uganda’s collaboration with China has yielded various massive projects such as in electricity generation, modern railways, airports, the Entebbe Expressway, the underground ICT backbone, construction of industrial parks, among many others.

China-Africa relations is resulting in the industrialization of the continent

Uganda in collaboration with china has built many industrial parks in addition to the unveiling of the country’s first smart phone and laptop manufacturing plant late last year. Moreover, with the addition of this machine manufacturing skills center, it is on the path towards realizing her industrialization ambitions.

Nigeria is also constructing a plant that will manufacture train tracks and coaches at home by collaborating with China. Moreover, it is also constructing Africa’s first transport university in collaboration with the Asian giant.

Ethiopia is also among the leading collaborators with china on the continent. It has built and commissioned several industrial parks and many are on the pipeline. Ethiopia had the fasting growing economy in the world in the past decade and its collaboration with china definitely played a role in achieving this feat. The East African nation is now on the verge of becoming the manufacturing hub of the continent.

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