NIGERIA – Spanish culinary products manufacturer GBfoods, having operations in Nigeria has inaugurated a N20 billion (US$51.9m) Tomato processing factory in Kebbi state, aimed to help the country achieve self-sufficiency in production of tomatoes and its related products.

Through its wide product range which include taste enhances, ready meals, soups, infusions, among other, GBfoods has earned itself a wide market share in Nigeria thanks to some of its notable brands like Gino tomato mix, Bama mayonnaise and Jango dairy products.

The N20 billion (US$51.9m) factory was established in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kebbi State Government and the Emirate of Yauri.

The CEO of GBfoods Africa, Mr. Vicenç Bosch, commended the Federal Government for encouraging and supporting GBfoods to engage with CBN, Ministries, Kebbi State Government and the Ngaski Local Government Authorities to ensure the successful completion of the factory.

Mr Vincent Egbe, the Country Manager, GBfoods Nigeria said, “The commissioning of this processing factory is a great milestone for us. It further demonstrates the company’s commitment towards helping Nigeria achieve its food security ambitions, in this case, of self-sufficiency in tomato concentrate production.”

According to a report by This Day, the factory is now the second largest in Nigeria and the only fully backward integrated plant in ECOWAS having the largest single tomato farm in Nigeria.

The investment, in the world-class factory and adjoining farm, includes a drip irrigation and fertigation infrastructure, greenhouses, seed planting robots, an incubation chambers and a plethora of agricultural machinery.

The farm is set to serve a dual purpose of producing industrial tomatoes in the dry season and soya beans in the raining season.

The tomato factory will convert fresh tomatoes into tomato concentrate used for producing Gino Tomatoes Paste and Gino Tomato Pepper Onion Paste while the soya bean will be used to process soya-bean oil which is a critical ingredient for GBfoods’ Bama and Jago Mayonnaise, indicated the reports.

The project has so far created over a 1,000 jobs including, 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs. GBfoods has also engaged many small holder farmers as out-growers.

They have trained the out-growers on good agricultural practices, provided them with tomatoes seedlings, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes that will enable the farmers have access to water in the dry season.

The factory will engage over 5,000 out-growers, in the coming tomatoes season.

Additional land is expected in September 2020 to be cleared and prepared for the farming season of October 2021. This expansion will be similarly accompanied by an upgrade in the factory’s capacity.

GBfoods has also supported the host communities by providing and maintaining 16 boreholes of drinking water, a first for some of the surrounding villages.

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