GROUP Managing Director/CEO Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), Mr Boye Olusanya, has said having a close affinity with Nigeria, the company has aligned in the process of driving self-sufficiency in the country through local content development.
In a press release made available to newsmen on Monday, he listed the five key value chains of the company as grains, oils and fats, sugar, feeds and proteins and cassava Starches, adding that the company has consistently made investments in the development of the value chains to reduce dependency on imported raw materials.
For oil and fats, it said the Edible Oil Products Ltd (PEOPL), one of the largest new-generation edible oil complexes in Africa, extracts premium soya oil from soybeans supplied by its Kaboji Farm and from aggregated supplies from up to 100,000 third-party farmers in North-Central and North-West Nigeria.
It added that after oil extraction, the remaining soybean meal is used by its Premier Feed Mill (PFM) operations in Ibadan and Calabar, where it is converted to poultry and aqua feed.
Commenting on the group’s sugar investment, Mr Olusanya said “FMN, through its subsidiary, Golden Sugar Company (GSC), initiated progressive agricultural interventions towards driving sugar self-sufficiency in Nigeria and introduced the out-grower programme – a transformative and innovative agricultural intervention designed for local capacity development.”
According to him, hundreds of sugarcane farmers under the out-grower scheme were trained and some sent to Malawi for further upskilling, adding that the group also takes the lead in propagating the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) agenda through its Sugar Cane Outgrower Scheme.
The development, he said, would enable Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in sugar production by growing the required local capacity to meet the demand for sugar which will stem the tide of unbridled importation of sugar and its by-products.
In 1978, FMN ventured into the agribusiness space with the acquisition of a 10,000-hectare farm in Kaboji, Niger State, from where it has made investments in the primary processing of locally-grown soybean, palm fruit, cassava, maize, sugar cane, sorghum and the storage, aggregation, and distribution of locally sourced grains.
The company also drives local content development and innovation through its CSR projects, as, in September 2022, in partnership with George Coumantaros Foundation (GCF) and in conjunction with the American Farm School (AFS) and Perrotis College in Greece, it awarded postgraduate scholarship worth over N33 million (€46,800) to two deserving Nigerian students.
The goal is to drive excellence in education and upskilling for players in the food and agro-allied sector, especially in the areas of industry-based technological advancements.
FMN, possibly more than any other company in Nigeria today, shares a reliable heritage with Nigeria as it was incorporated as a Nigerian company on September 29, 1960, two days before Nigeria’s Independence Day and over six decades later, it has proven to be an invaluable ally to Nigeria’s development.
Laolu Afolabi | Tribune