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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

FG commissions 12.5m capacity Sugarcane bio-factory

The Federal Government has commissioned her first Sugarcane Bio-factory in Zaria, Kaduna, estimated at 12.5 million cane seedlings per annum,n line with the implementation of her Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Declaring the Sugarcane Bio-factory open for operations, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, NaijaAgroNet gathered, said the factory is one-million seedlings per annum capacity.

“The provision of high grade and quality seedlings of sugarcane is essential for the attainment of the set goals of the National Sugar Master Plan.This facility is designed to address a critical constraint facing Nigeria’s sugar industry – timely provision of high quality and clean seeds to sugar estates and farmers across Nigeria.” He said.

Aganga also stressed that the expectation in four years, is that five of this kind of facility would have been established across Nigeria with capacities of between 2million and 2.5million seedlings per annum each.

The NSMP whichis one of the major sectorial policies under the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, enunciated by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was launched by the President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2014, with an ultimate goal to make Nigeria’s manufacturing sector highly competitive and dynamic.

It is believed that the efficiency in the cultivation and supply of sugarcane will enhance the efficient milling and production of sugar and associated by-products like ethanol and electricity.

The bio-factory would serve as a facility where disease-free crop seedlings would be rapidly micro-propagated under controlled laboratory environment for planting in the fields, as NaijaAgroNet learnt, and the NSMP projects that at least 250,000 hectares of sugarcane fields would be required for processing in about 28 mills of varying capacities to produce 1.79 metric tonnes of sugar in the first phase of the master plan.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE

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