Workers in operation at GBfoods Kebbi Tomato processing factory (PRNewsfoto/GBfoods)
Culinary product manufacturer GBfoods – in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kebbi State Government and the Emirate of Yauri – has built a $51 million tomato processing factory in Kebbi State, Nigeria.
The factory is the second largest in Nigeria and, when all phases of the project are complete, it will be the largest fresh tomato processing factory in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The state-of-the-art facility and farm include a drip irrigation and fertigation infrastructure, greenhouses, seed planting robots, incubation chambers and agricultural machinery.
The factory will convert fresh tomatoes into concentrate for Gino’s Tomato Paste and Tomato Pepper Onion Paste. Soya beans will also be grown to produce soya-bean oil, which is an essential ingredient in GBfoods’ Bama and Jago Mayonnaise.
The project has enabled over 1,000 jobs, including 500 farming positions, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs. GBfoods has also engaged with and trained smallholder farmers, and has supported local communities by providing and maintaining 16 boreholes of drinking water.
Vincent Egbe, country manager of GBfoods Nigeria said: “The opening of this processing factory is a great milestone for us. 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.
“We will continue to work with the Federal Government towards food security and local production and processing of fresh tomatoes. The company is dedicated to reducing pre and post-harvest losses, and also developing the value chain so as to improve revenue streams for tomato farmers.”
He continued: “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, fertilisers, training, and irrigation pumps, further to reduce post-harvest losses GBfoods also provided free plastic crates to farmers.
“GBfoods is working with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the CBN to make Nigeria not only a shining example in food security, but also to become the food basket of Africa.”
Additional land is expected to to be cleared and prepared in September 2020, in time for the October 2021 farming season.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020