NIGERIA: Dangote to lead sugar revolution

Published: 07/17/2017, 8:35:22 AM

The President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has revealed that the focal point of the company is to replicate the revolution it brought about in cement production into agriculture particularly rice and sugar, according to Nigeria's Leadership.

Dangote, who stated this in Jalingo recently when he paid a courtesy call on the governor, said his company is keen about revolutionising rice and sugar processing in the country the same way it achieved 45 million tonnes of cement within 10 years and hoping to hit 80 million tonnes in the next two years.

Dangote has already bought a total of 150,000 hectares in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, and Niger states, all within Nigeria for commercial production of rice to support the country's Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) launched in 2011. Through the transformation agenda, Nigeria hopes to attain food sufficiency and become a net exporter of rice within the next four years.

Maintaining that he was in the state to show his company's seriousness in terms of agriculture, he equally added that he came to Taraba to ensure the Lau Sugar project becomes a reality.

"Our coming to Taraba is to show our seriousness as a company in terms of agriculture and to ensure that the Lau sugar project becomes a reality. We intend to do what we did in cement when we started from zero to 45 million tonnes within ten years and to 80 million in the next two years. That is the trajectory we are looking"

Also, in an interview, the executive director of Dangote's industries, Edwin Devakumar said that the conglomerate plans to increase its production of sugar to 1.5 million metric tons a year by 2020 from 100,000 tons now and is seeking to add one million tons of rice, saying the company also plans to have 50,000 cattle producing 500 million liters of milk a year by 2019.

He added that Dangote plans to cultivate 350,000 hectares or 864,850 acres of land for sugar cane and add 200,000 hectares for rice.

Devakumar said the company will finance the projects through internal resources or equity funding and loans from banks and export-credit agencies, saying "The funds will be used mainly to procure farm-development equipment as well as sugar and rice mills."