The Federal Government has commissioned the first Sugarcane Bio-factory at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State as part of efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency in the nation’s sugar requirements.
Commissioning the factory on Monday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said that the inauguration of the one-million seedling per annum capacity bio-factory was the first in the series of bio-factories to be established in the next five years, with combined capacity estimated at 12.5million cane seedlings per annum.
He explained that 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.
The production of sugar has been described as an integrated process with field and factory processes that are inter-dependent and mutually inclusive.
Thus, efficiency in the cultivation and supply of sugarcane is essential for efficient milling and production of sugar and associated by-products such as ethanol and electricity.
This facility, according to Mr Aganga, is designed to address all the critical challenges facing Nigeria’s sugar industry.
Its commissioning therefore marks another milestone in the implementation of the National Sugar Master Plan, which was approved by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in September 2012.
The ultimate goal is to make Nigeria’s manufacturing sector highly competitive and dynamic.
Speaking during the event, the Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, said that the project is a proactive approach for alleviating problems of sugacane production in Nigeria and will also support the efforts being made by the National Sugar Master Plan in ensuring sustainable sugarcane production by the year 2020.
As the factory settles down for production, Nigerians would hope that this addresses the short supply of sugar needed by many industries for the production of daily consumables and also create more job for the teeming population.