The Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc said that arrangements were in top gear for the inauguration of its sugar mill, the Sunti Golden Sugar Estate, in Mokwa, Niger state. The mill which is expected to produce 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly is to be established at the cost of N50 billion.
A statement issued by the company’s Media Officer, Mr Tola Samuel, said that the estate scheduled to be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 15, would set the country on the path to become self-sufficient in sugar production.
According to the statement, the farm at peak production will provide direct employment for about 10,000 people yearly, and impact up to 50,000 people indirectly, including 3,000 small-scale out growers who will be cultivating sugarcane to feed the mill.
It added that the sugar estate would feature 17, 000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a sugar mill that processes 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane per day.
“At full capacity, the estate is expected to produce 1 million tons of sugarcane which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tons of sugar yearly.
“Enclosed within a 35-kilometer dyke, the production facility area is 15,100 hectares, with a cane area that features a maximum output of 10, 000 hectares.
“The dyke provides flood protection from the River Niger.
“Over N1 billion was invested in the state-of-the-art irrigation system that will ensure the efficient cultivation of sugar cane, with infrastructure that includes drain pumps, pump stations, and a power grid,’’ the statement said.
It further said that the establishment of the project would reduce sugar importation into the country as well as save money in foreign exchange.
“It will also boost local capacity and reduce unemployment by putting thousands of Nigerians to work,’’ it added.