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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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Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is investing $2 billion in Togo to transform their Phosphate into fertilizers; instead of it being exported as a raw product.

Business mogul Dangote and his plants

An agreement has been signed between the Dangote group and the Togolese government to process Phosphate into Phosphate fertilizers.

Togo is a major producer of phosphate in Africa and has reserves of over two billion. The country hopes that by partnering with Africa’s leading industrialist, they will tap into the manufacturing ability and financial power of Africa’s richest man.

Dangote is currently building the largest Petroleum refinery and fertilizer complex in Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. With its completion, the Dangote group will be the top producer of ammonia in the continent. The Dangote group will provide ammonia produced from its complex to the phosphate plant in Togo. In turn, Togo will use the fertilizers to sell to farmers in the country as well as export to other African countries.

The Togo national development plan aims to structurally transform the country’s economy and building this plant is in line with that objective. Mining work is expected to start before the end of the year. The project is expected to create several thousand jobs at a cost of about $2 billion.

The plant will be constructed in Lome and work is expected to start early next year and commissioned before the end of the year.

Dangote further expands his Pan African move

This is not the first time that the business mogul is investing in other African countries. For instance, he has set up cement plants in 14 African countries. Dangote is a strong believer in transforming Africa’s economy by Africans. Clearly, he is putting his money were his mouth is. More African businessmen need to follow in his footsteps in order for African countries to industrialize their economies. Industrialization will be a key pillar in providing jobs ad eradicating poverty in the continent.

This partnership is a demonstration of what could be achieved with the AFCTA

The Africa continental free trade area (AFCTA) was ratified this past July and came into effect. Dangotes’ partnership with the government of Togo shows what can be achieved if the AFCTA is implemented as designed.

Dangote will provide Ammonia from his Nigeria plant to the Togo Phospate plant he is constructing. The fertilizer produced in the Togo plant in turn will be consumed by farmers in Togo and other African countries.

Africa can be self-sufficient in most of the products she needs if the AFCTA is implemented as planned. The AU and ECA should make sure the rules of the AFCTA are applied to the letter to avoid it being abused by unscrupulous elements.