To help diversify the economy successfully as promised by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth $45 million has been signed between Vicampro Farm Ltd, BlackPace B.V and Kiremko B.V. for the setting up of the largest potato processing plant for French fries and potato flakes in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.
The Vicampro Farm Potato project in Plateau and Kaduna is aimed to be one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, producing between 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes annually with a capacity of 5,000kg per day, for local consumption and regional export. Kiremko is the processing plant manufacturer with over 50 years in processing plants and based in the Netherlands.
According to a financial expert and investor, Mr. O’segun Paul Andrew of the Paul Andrew Group, who brokered the deal, Vicampro Farm ventured into the Nigerian space two years ago and today has the largest potato farm by landmass – for both farming and processing plants, with a planned investment of more than $67m (N20billion).
In a chat with selected journalists in Lagos, Andrew said one of the key sectors that tends to shape the economy away from oil & gas is agriculture. “Of recent, a lot has been put into play by successive governments with various favourable policies and incentives to lend credibility and support the industry. It also has helped direct foreign investors into the enclave and one of the efforts is the Vicampro project.
“Whilst making Nigeria a robust agricultural economy, we are lending support to government’s economic blueprint for a sustainable and diversified economy. The Vicampro Farm project will add about 50,000 jobs into the economy and also increase economic activities in the retail end of the economy.
It will also save foreign exchange through importation of French fries which currently accounts for 90 per cent of Nigeria’s domestic consumption as well as save the nation of about $200 million of forex that goes out to import French fries”, he added.
Vicampro Farm is currently advised by a leading investment advisory firm in Geneva, Switzerland and supported by BlackPace B.V a leading diversified investment firm in Amsterdam, Netherlands.