NIGERIA – Nigeria’s National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has presented high-yielding seed cane to the Golden Sugar Company Ltd (GSC) in preparation for the 2024/2025 planting season.  

This initiative is part of the efforts to empower sugar operators, enhance production, and support the implementation of the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) II, aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production. 

The requested sugarcane variety was handed over to GSC at the Nigeria Sugar Institute (NSI) in Ilorin.  

Kamar Bakrin, the director and interim coordinator of NSI, emphasized the Council’s commitment to boosting sugarcane production by providing valuable assistance to sugar estates.  

He noted that the NSI serves as the training arm of the NSDC, offering technical support, conducting research, and developing capacity for staff within the sugar industry.  

The institute also aids in increasing local sugar production by supplying promising planting materials. 

The sugarcane varieties presented are known for their higher yield, resistance to diseases and pests, lower production costs, and environmentally friendly practices. 

Bakrin expressed confidence that this initiative would significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of NSMP II, addressing the challenges of low yield. He urged GSC to adhere to the best agronomic practices to complement the yield potential of the new variety. 

This move follows a recent reassurance from the Nigeria Sugar Council that there is no need to fear a sugar shortage, affirming that the sugar supply is sufficient to meet local consumption needs.  

Zacch Adedeji, the Executive Secretary of NSDC, stated, “There is no suspension of sales or production of sugar in the country. We only consume 1.7 metric tonnes, which is less than five percent of what we have in stock.” 

Adedeji also highlighted President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate for stakeholders to submit an audited action plan quarterly.  

Additionally, partners in the sector, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Nigerian Customs, have been instructed to grant zero duty to operators participating in the sugar backward integration program (BIP). 

Adedeji reminded operators that the NSDC would sanction any company violating the National Sugar Development Council Act of 2015, ensuring compliance and promoting the growth of the sugar industry in Nigeria. 

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