US companies set to establish $100m cassava factory in Kwara

TWO American-based investors, Ecotech-rab and Tranfeed Groups, along with their Nigerian partner, Satco Global Group, are set to establish cassava production and processing factories in Kwara State in the next 18 months.

Speaking with the Tribune Online in Edidi, Irepodun local government area of the state; site of the factories, on Thursday, the group managing director of the partnering company, Engineer Femi Philips, said the factories are expected to gulp a sum of $100 million and create about 2,500 jobs when completed.

Engineer Philips, who spoke with Tribune Online shortly after paying courtesy visit to the Eledidi of Edidi land, Oba Gabriel Aboyeji, in his palace said, “The project is expected to gulp about 5,000 hectares of land. The first phase will be about two streams of 120 tons per day and there will be an upgrade of 48 tons per day; giving us about 168 tons per day for a stream.

“We are going to bring our expertise into planting cassava in a manner that will allow for optimum yield. So, we are bringing our species from outside Nigeria and blend with the local species in Nigeria. We are looking at working with IITA in this area.

“We are going to be producing starch powder, ethanol and production of feeds for livestock and others. It is an agro-business kind of.”

Also speaking, President, Ecotech-rab, Jorge de la Torre, said “we are coming together with other partners to establish agro-industrial project in this community in order to improve the living condition and create employment for people. We intend to start these two plants before the end of 2017. We will work very hard for the successful completion of this project. This is our target and this is what we want.”

On his part, President of Transeed Group, Dr Tim F. Dumah said that “the good news is that we are going to train people to have new skills. For that reason I think it is a win-win situation for the community and us.

“Agriculture is the in thing in Nigeria; we want to put this community on the world map through creation of jobs by the project.”

Earlier, Oba Aboyeji assured that the investors would not regret investing in his domain, adding “there will be no hindrance of any form.

“I urge you, therefore, to consider first indigenes of the community as soon as the project kicks-off. We are assuring you of our cooperation as the community is peaceful”.