NIGERIA – Grand Cereals Limited, subsidiary of United Africa Company (UAC) of Nigeria Plc, has commissioned a US$3.3 million (N1.2bn) fish feed processing plant as it seeks to boost the aquaculture sector in the country.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Mr Sanjeen Jain, the Acting Deputy Managing Director Grand Cereals Ltd., explained that the plant would begin production of 2,500 tonnes of fish feeds per month.
Jian said that the new plant is aimed at bringing the firms products closer to the farmers as part of its commitment on developing the agriculture value chain in Nigeria, reports News Agency of Nigeria.
He further noted that this will also improve availability all-year round and further improve quality of the feed.
However, Jian noted that in spite of its production capacity, the country still has a supply gap of about 2.1 million tonnes of fish feed.
Also speaking during the commissioning ceremony, Willie Obiano, Governer Anambra said that the government would work closely with the company and other manufacturing firm to address challenges in the region order to promote more investments.
“We expect the facility to expand to employ more people and to ensure that the state is self-sufficient in fish production.
We are ready for more investors; we will like your Gala factory to come to Anambra because we are looking for investors,” he added.
He said that the government is committed to develop various interventions that will ensure local sourcing of basic raw materials including maize, sorghum
Jain called for the government to sustain its ban on the importation of frozen fish and poultry products into Nigeria in order to improve prospects in the aquaculture sector.
According to the director of Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research Lagos, Dr. Adekunle Oresegun, Nigeria spends about US$1 billion annually on the importation of fish.
He further appealed for special support to feed millers in terms of tax holidays and easier access to credit from financial institutions, especially those that are currently providing extension services and market development programmes.
Grand Cereals is a leading Nigerian integrated foods company that produces and markets consumer food products whose fish feed portfolio include the Vital Fish Feed brand.