By Yinka Kolawole,with agency report
DANGOTE Group is planning to invest a total sum of $4.6 billion in farming in Nigeria – $3.8 billion in sugar and rice and $800 million in dairy production, over the next three years as the company seeks to expand its operations in the country.
Edwin Devakumar, Executive Director at Dangote’s Industries Unit, in an interview with Bloomberg, said the conglomerate plans to increase its production of sugar to 1.5 million metric tonnes a year by 2020 from 100,000 tonnes now and is seeking to add one million tonnes of rice. He added that the company also plans to have 50,000 cattle producing 500 million litres of milk per annum by 2019. He added that Dangote Group plans to cultivate 350,000 hectares (864,850 acres) of land for sugar cane and add 200,000 hectares for rice, according to the executive director. According to him, “the company has ordered five plants for sugar milling and 10 for rice from Switzerland to be located in the north of the country,” he stated. The company has established Dangote Rice Ltd. and will list the unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange “at the appropriate time,” he asserted.
Devakumar said a lack of foreign exchange means companies are struggling to pay for imported goods, increasing the burden on local agriculture to meet demand for food from Nigeria’s population of more than 180 million. “All raw sugar has to be imported today, same thing for flour milling,” he noted.
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