20,000 Anambra farmers get support for sweet potato, tiger nuts cultivation
Hoval Nigeria Limited, an indigenous organic fertiliser producer, says it will support at least 20,000 farmers in Anambra to produce sweet potato and tiger nuts in commercial quantities.
Mr Albert Okoye, the Chairman, Hoval Group of Companies, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday shortly after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the leaders of various farmers’ co-operative groups in Awka.
Okoye said the sweet potato and tiger nuts would be the raw materials base for the multi-million naira potato processing plant being built by the company at Umuawulu community in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra.
He said that under the MOU, the company would provide inputs, tractors, harvesters and serve as off-taker for the sweet potato produced by the farmers.
He said that the farmers on their part would produce the tiger nuts and sweet potato, in addition to providing the land.
“Our potato processing plant, which is expected to commence production sometime in March 2020, will need about 480 tonnes of sweet potato and tiger nuts daily.
“The plant will have eight major by-products such as potato flex, potato flour for baking and pastries, cereals, animal feeds, beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic,’’ the chairman said.
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He further said that no fewer than 2,500 persons would be employed by the company, adding that each factory would engage at least 700 persons.
Okoye said that he was impressed with the response of farmers so far and optimistic that the project would produce millionaires and billionaires in the state and beyond in the nearest future.
He also appealed to the state government to assist the company by providing farmland for the cultivation of sweet potato and tiger nuts.
“We also need the state government to guarantee farmers who are doing business with us to enable them to perform better because the project would boost the internally generated revenue of the state,’’ he said.
Okoye said that plans were underway to also set up more plants in Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta and Rivers, after taking off in Anambra.
NAN reports that the company, which is a member of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, is also into mining,
industrial and agro-inputs production.