Nigeria accounts for less than one per cent of the global agrochemical industry earnings which was at $61 billion in 2013, while the whole of Africa’s share is just about four per cent.
The Chairman, Candel Group, manufacturers of agrochemicals, Charles Anudu, disclosed this at the inauguration of the multi-billion naira manufacturing plant at the Lekki Free Zone.
The project which is in its first phase is expected to deliver a facility with a capacity for 80 million litres of formulated products per annum, when completed.
This will enable Candel deliver solutions most suited to Nigeria’s tropical climate and peculiar farming systems, as there is currently no local production of crop protection agrochemicals in Nigeria with over $400 million in foreign exchange expended annually to import them.
Anudu said: “Our facility is positioned both for Candel’s own distribution networks in Nigeria and Ghana and for contract manufacturing for other operators in Nigeria and abroad. We can produce and ship any order to reach any part of Nigeria within one week, and anywhere within the West and Central African sub-regions within two weeks, barring any unforeseen logistics and regulatory problems, hence empowering our farmers and patrons to meet any demand opportunities promptly.”
‘’Crop protection chemicals protect crops from weeds, pests and diseases when on the field, during transportation and in the store and are helping the quest for increased crop yields and better preservation by Nigerian farmers. Our facility is configured to produce products specially targeted at small scale farmers as well as customized formulations with different surfactant levels and packaging for large scale farmers. Specifically, this facility will enable Candel to deliver solutions most suited to West and Central Africa’s tropical climate and peculiar farming systems. “
Earlier, while inaugurating the plant, immidiate past governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, hailed the group for the initiative and urged other investors to take advantage of the opportunities in the LFZ.