Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, a leading brand in the food and agro-allied industry in Nigeria, has announced the upland acquisition of an additional 5,200 hectares of land in Sunti Golden Sugar Estates located in Mokwa, Niger state, in line with its expansion plans.
The company also revealed that the total projected cost to achieve this bold plan is set at a minimum of about N160 billion, including the new Sugar mill at Nasarawa.
According to a statement issued by the leading agro-allied company, the acquisition of the land is in line with Flour Mills’ commitment to the backward integration strategy of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), and the overall growth vision of the Sugar industry in the country.
The new 5,200 hectares of land acquired by the flour miller will expand the total land size of Sunti Golden Sugar Estates to about 22,000 hectares of land, with the total land area under cane cultivation now coming up to 15,000 hectares.
What you should know
The news of the land acquisition by Flour Mills comes weeks after claims of involvement in price-fixing and arbitrary collusion to create sugar scarcity were made against the company in a letter written by the founder of the BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu to the Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Niyi Adebayo.
Abdulsamad in his letter added that among the three players in the Nigerian sugar industry, only BUA Sugar Refinery has made serious investment commitment to the backward integration strategy of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).
Why this matters
Flour Mill’s investment in the sugar industry highlights the importance of the sugar value chain, and the company’s support and commitment to the Government’s overall strategy of raising the profile of agriculture while diversifying the economy.
Hence, the expansion plan of the Golden Sugar Company, a subsidiary of the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc is an effort to immensely increase the production capacity of the sugar estate, in a bid to drive the attendant expansion of the sugar production capacity of the mill, as the company will have over 25,000 hectares of land under cane.
Other proposed investment in this line will ensure that production is ramped up to approximately 250,000 tonnes of sugar per year. This will significantly increase local sugar production, reduce dependence on food imports, and save the country’s foreign exchange.
Expansion plans by other players in the industry
- BUA Group recently disclosed that it has invested over $300 million in Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO) in Kwara State, which is in an advanced stage to completion.
- LASUCO, which is an integrated milling factory that will comprise of a 20,000-ha sugar plantation, a 10,000tcd sugar mill, a 220,000mtpa sugar refinery, 20,000,000 liters per annum ethanol plant, and a 35-megawatt power plant that will be integrated into the national grid.
- Dangote Sugar Refinery on the other hand revealed that the Company had commenced rehabilitation and expansion of the Savannah Sugar Company Limited Sugar Factory at Numan, with a key focus to increase production capacity by 6,000 tons of cane per day (TCD).
- The company also noted that Sugarcane planting has also commenced in two other BIP locations. Regrettably, due to community dispute over the land acquired in Niger State, projected activities have not commenced in Niger State.