GBfoods, a global leader in culinary product manufacturing, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kebbi State Government and the Emirate of Yauri recently built a N20bn tomato processing factory, in Kebbi State.
The factory is considered the second largest in Nigeria and the only fully backward integrated plant in ECOWAS – and has the largest single tomatoes farm in Nigeria.
A statement from the company indicated that when all phases of the project were completed, the factory would be the largest fresh tomatoes processing factory in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer of GBfoods Africa, Mr Vicenç Bosch, commended the Federal Government for encouraging the company to partner other agencies in actualising the project.
The statement read in part, “The investment, in the world-class factory and adjoining farm, included a drip irrigation and fertigation infrastructure, greenhouses, seed planting robots, an incubation chambers and a plethora of agricultural machinery.
“The farm will serve a dual purpose, it will also produce industrial tomatoes in the dry season and soya beans in the rainy season.
“The tomato factory will convert fresh tomatoes into tomato concentrate used for producing Gino Tomatoes Paste and Gino Tomato Pepper Onion Paste while the soya bean will be used to process soya-bean oil which is a critical ingredient for GBfoods’ Bama and Jago Mayonnaise.
“The project created over a 1,000 jobs including 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs.
“GBfoods also engaged many small holder farmers as out-growers.
“Apart from training the out-growers on good agricultural practices, GBfoods provided them with tomatoes seedlings, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes, enabling the farmers access to water in the dry season.”
Speaking during opening of the factory, the Country Manager, GBfoods Nigeria, Mr Vincent Egbe, 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.”
He added that the company was dedicated to reducing pre and post-harvest losses, and also developing the value chain so as to improve revenue streams for tomato farmers.