Governor Obaseki woos US private sector to Edo
As Investors set to inject $43.7m into industrial food ingredients, cassava value creation
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Wednesday reiterated the resolve of his administration towards attracting foreign investors into the oil palm and cassava sub-sectors in the State for production of high-value Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG).
Governor Obaseki disclosed this during a virtual meeting with US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Leonard and some foreign and local agribusiness investors in Abuja, which coincides with the inauguration of US President-Elect, Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris.
He explained that the necessary measures were put in place during his first tenure in office, towards instituting the framework for Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP).
According to the Governor, this is in support of oil palm value chain development in the state for the benefit of all.
“At the sub-national tier of government, we focus on moving from lamenting to executing; we are focused on getting the job done.
“This paradigm shift in the establishment of the EDSOPP will now include a move towards a renewed focus on Cassava Industrialisation Programme through land administration and civil service reforms.
“We want to build the capacity of our people to attract private investments in agro-industrialisation,” he said.
Governor Obaseki applauded the Ambassador’s support and commitment aimed at addressing various concerns of farmers across the state.
Speaking earlier, Ambassador Leonard commended Obaseki for his expression of interest to attract US investors into the oil palm and cassava value chains.
The Ambassador who appreciated the efforts made so far by the Governor pledged to support other US food and agribusiness companies to invest in the African continent.
In their presentations, Fayus Inc., Sacramento and other agribusiness investors present at the meeting committed to investing $43.7 million in industrial food ingredients and cassava value creation.
They said the investment will include food science, technology knowledge transfer and increased trade and investment inflows between the United States, Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries.
According to them, the investment in cassava new food products development serves as an example of the synergy of goals in value creation to drive food security, economic diversification and jobs creation under the Prosper Africa Initiative and DFC project financing in support of US-Africa investors.
Mr Fatai Yusufu, the Chairman of Fayus, Inc, an agribusiness company said that plans were ongoing to invest over $32 million in cassava value creation in Nigeria.
According to him, an additional $18 million will be invested in Ghana and Togo with support of the USAID funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH).
“We are ready to get the job done in Nigeria and in Edo; over the next four years, I promise you, we will be milling palm oil in Edo from our investment in the newly allocated 5,000 hectares land by Governor Obaseki’s administration.
“Fayus, Inc. is one of six new oil palm investors in Edo with state-of-the-art nurseries boasting of over 600,000 high-performance seedlings ready for planting in 2021.
“Fayus, Inc. is committed to sustainable cassava supply chain infrastructure development and value creation in Nigeria to meet the company’s latent demand of 50,000 MT High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for in-country manufacturing of CPG in Nigeria and export to North American, European, and Australian markets,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chairman of Shine Bridge Global Inc., Dr Tony Bello said that the market size of gluten-free and grain-free CPG is estimated at $4.5 billion by 2025.
Dr Bello explained that the value-added HQCF or tapioca flour serves as functional food ingredients for making ready-to-eat consumer new food products.
According to Bello, Fayus, Inc. is the manufacturer of the famous “Ola Ola” brand of Poundo Yam Flour and is expanding the brand to include Cassava Flour Mixes for making baked goods such as crackers and pizza crusts, snacks, Shawarma and noodles.
He explained that the aim was to meet the growing demand for gluten-free and grain-free consumer food products in North America and the world.
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