Ellah Lakes Plc has announced the signing of a seed production and technical support agreement between its subsidiary Adani Staple Crop Processing Zone Food Company Limited and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
The announcement was made in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.
According to the statement, the agreement was on a seed multiplication programme which, in the first phase, will involve the production of high-yielding soybean seed varieties on five hectares of land located in IITA Ibadan, and subsequently, on 500 hectares of land located in Adani, Enugu State.
It noted that IITA brings to this endeavour with Ellah lakes, its expertise in the production and supply of high-quality breeder and foundation seedlings to private sector seed producers.
Facilitating soybean production: The statement, signed by Elah Lake’s Head of Administration Modupe Boardman-Ejikeme, explained that the partnership will facilitate the production of premium quality soybean seedlings for cultivation at Adani SCPZ in Enugu State with IITA providing all the technical support required to produce the seedlings for the company.
“This improved variety of breeder seeds is expected to yield 2.5 metric tons of quality soybean per hectare, 150% higher than the Nigerian national average of 1.0 metric tons per hectare and at par with output in South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina.
Soybean is an important source of plant-based protein that contains dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Soybean consists of 20% oil, making them an important crop for producing edible oil. A by-product from the oil production, soymeal, is used as a high-protein animal feed in the poultry and aquaculture industries.”
Market value of soybeans: The statement added that the demand for soybean in Nigeria is estimated to be more than 1.2 million metric tons per annum, which is a market value of over N360 billion (approximately US$780 million).
“Additionally, soybean from Nigeria has huge export potential because Nigerian Soyabean is Non-Genetically Modified, it has a wider range of applications including as input into infant cereals and textured vegetable protein – which is often used as meat analogue or meat extender. With its partnership with IITA, Adani SCPZ will be able to significantly boost productivity at its 3,700-hectare farm in Adani, Enugu State, and will be on track to achieving a target output of 7,500 metric tons of soybean per annum upon full cultivation of the property.
It also marks an important milestone on the company’s strategic path to build Staple Crop Processing Zones across the country, with Adani being the flagship site,” it added.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, Chuka Mordi said that the agreement was a symbolic and significant milestone on the company’s strategic path to build Staple Crop Processing Zones across the country.
“Adani remains our flagship site and under the supervision of the IITA, we expect to accelerate progress in Enugu State, during 2023,” he said.