Dangote to Pump More Funds into Agriculture to Boost Economy

September 2, 2019
Dangote Cement shares

By Adedapo Adesanya

In line with the efforts to contribute significantly to reducing unemployment in Nigeria, Dangote Group has disclosed that it is scaling up its investment in the agricultural sector.

According to the group, agriculture is the most visible way of addressing the high unemployment rate bedeviling the country and the time is rife to put the agricultural sector in the front burner, more so that Nigeria’s ever-growing population is projected to hit 440 million by the year 2050.

The group expressed confidence that its huge investments in the sector will lead to real growth and development of the country’s economy.

Speaking with newsmen at the just-concluded 2nd edition of the Agribusiness Summit in Abuja, the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Project and Portfolio Development at the cement firm, Mr Devakumar Edwin, said the new investments were significant and timely given the current rate of unemployment in the country.

According to Mr Edwin, agriculture employs 37 percent of the population, adding that this is against the backdrop of 23 percent the unemployment rate in the country.

He also revealed that going forward, his company is upping its investment in rice, tomato paste, sugar and dairy products, following the recent plan of the Federal Government to boost local milk production.

He further revealed that the Pan-African Conglomerate is constructing state of the art storage silos, and as well carrying out parboiling, rice milling, polishing, sorting and parking units for a total capacity of one million tons of paddy.

Mr Edwin then said there is an ongoing investment in 15,000 hectares to produce and process tomato paste of 150,000 tons per year noting that the current import is 0.5million tons per year.

He said his conglomerate was equally investing in 40,000 hectares to produce sugar, just as he hinted about the ongoing construction of a 3million tons fertilizer plant.

He also added that part of the company’s plans also included investment in dairy products and oil seeds.

With the availability of water and arable land, Edwin expressed optimism that Nigeria has all it takes to grow the agricultural sector and tackle unemployment.

He then commended that it was in realization of the need to feed Nigerians that the government came out with various agricultural enhancement initiatives which included: Anchor Borrower Scheme, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, Presidential Economic Diversification Initiative, youth Lab and Food Security council among others.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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