The Chairman of the Flour Mills Nigeria Group (FMN), Mr. John G. Coumantaros has unfolded the Group’s plan and strategy to make Northern Nigeria Flour Mills (NNFM) Plc Kano, a subsidiary company of Flour Mills, a hub for the processing and distribution of locally sourced grains which in Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Bauchi and other states in the northern part of Nigeria.
He said the thrust of the new strategic direction is to further assist our local farmers in creating wealth while adding greater value to their output. This will undoubtedly bring immense benefits to the rural populace in terms of job creation, economic empowerment and improved social welfare.
The plan, which was unveiled by Coumantaros in Kano during the recently concluded 44th Annual General Meeting of NNFM, is a key feature of the Group’s food import substitution efforts and commitments aimed at boosting food sufficiency and security in Nigeria with an initial focus on local grains such as maize, soyabean, sorghum and wheat.
These efforts will complement FMN Group’s Backward Integration Programs in cassava, maize, rice, soybean, sugar and palm oil value chains; which are all now producing significant amounts of raw material to supplement our local crop aggregation efforts.
In furtherance of this goal, NNFM, he said had made significant investments to convert some of its wheat mills into maize mills with an annual capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes.
The conversion has started generating positive results. Two new products, ‘Masavita’ and ‘Masaflour’ were re-introduced to the market. With good commercial efforts and riding on the reputation of the Group’s flagship– Golden Penny brand – the two new products gained rapid market acceptance resulting in a dramatic upsurge in demand for maize with significant benefits to the Nigerian farmers.
NNFM also took another giant stride towards enhancing local content during the year, when it commenced the installation of a sorghum mill which will produce flour from locally grown sorghum for inclusion into wheat flour products, an investment of about NGN 5 Billion (US$15 million) with an annual capacity of 100,000 mt, saving an estimated US$ 25 million in Foreign Exchange annually in foreign exchange demand.There are high expectations that the investment will boost the company’s profitability in the coming years to the delight of all stakeholders.
The sorghum kilning and milling process which will be ready for commissioning during the first quarter of 2017 will evidently enhance the usage and consumption of local grains thereby creating jobs and stimulating economic activities in the rural areas.
To achieve the Group’s goal, NNFM is already working in partnership with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop robust out grower schemes and also engage in sorghum seed development.