Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN Group), a market leader in food and agro-allied products in Nigeria, has disclosed that its biggest agricultural investment in Nigeria to date – the Sunti Golden Sugar Estate – will be unveiled on March 15 by Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Located on the banks of River Niger in Mokwa, Niger state, the Sunti Golden Sugar Estate is owned by Sunti Golden Sugar Estates (SGSE) Ltd. a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
The sugar estate features 17,000 hectares of irrigable farmland and a Sugar mill that process 4,500 metric tonnes of sugarcane per day. At full capacity, the estate is expected to produce one million tonnes of sugarcane, which roughly translates into 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar yearly.
Enclosed within a 35-kilometre 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, according to a release.
The estate is a pure representation of the Federal Government’s Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) with an ambitious backward integration programme that intends to set Nigeria on the path to self-sufficient sugar production. 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.
The estate has brought infrastructure benefits to the surrounding community, with 28 communities in total taking advantage of a new 30-kilometre road, plus expansive road networks that provide a variety of access routes to the homes of the indigenes. Drains, culverts, and flood-protection walls have also been constructed.
The project illustrates the desire to reduce sugar importation, save billions in foreign exchange, boost local capacity, and reduce unemployment by putting thousands of Nigerians to work.
The FMN Group’s mantra, “Feeding the Nation, Everyday,” is at the heart of the company’s strategic decisions on what they produce, how and where factories are set up, the level of care that is put into products, and how they interact with host communities and the wider environment.
The unveiling of the Sunti Golden Sugar Estate on March 15 will be the first step towards a collective dream of agricultural progress for all in Nigeria.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc was incorporated on 29 September 1960 as a private limited liability company and commenced operations in 1962 with an installed flour milling capacity of 500 metric tonnes per day. In 1978, Flour Mills of Nigeria was converted to a public limited liability company and its shares were subsequently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Today, Flour Mills of Nigeria is the largest flour milling company in Nigeria, with an installed flour milling capacity of approximately 12,000 metric tonnes per day.
In 2012, the company commenced the implementation of backward integration programmes through its agro-allied business initiatives, primarily to support its core food business. It has continued to pursue strategic business opportunities, such as capacity expansion and realignment of its core food business, whilst backwardly integrating its processes by increasing local content in a substantive and sustainable way, to further mitigate reliance on imports and exposure to external volatility in the food business.
Flour Mills of Nigeria has a broad product portfolio and a robust pan-Nigerian distribution network. The company’s three major business segments – food, agro-allied and support services, are constantly evolving to meet the diverse needs of all stakeholders.