Cros Agro Allied Ltd, a Nigerian agribusiness company, has announced a commitment to invest $65 million in the country’s potato sector.
In its investment commitment, Cros Agro has outlined plans to expand its existing potato production area to 900 ha, which will supply the company’s potato processing facilities, run by Rosenqvists Food Technologies AB, to increase production of French fries and potato flakes. The company plans to invest primarily in the expansion of its processing capacity through new equipment, and farm machinery to support increased production of potatoes.
The new investment is expected to generate over 30,000 new jobs in the potato value chain, as well as outgrower opportunities for an additional 5,000 farmers. Further, the increased processing capabilities will serve not only the domestic market but also export markets in neighbouring countries, generating up to $300 million in foreign exchange.
In the coming year, Cros Agro will begin implementation of the investment commitment through activities including active engagement with value chain stakeholders in the potato sector, support for local farmers to access potato seeds enabling participation in the company’s outgrower scheme, and creation of new opportunities for youth employment as the company expands its workforce. Cros Agro expects to create 1,500 jobs in 2017.
Olusegun Paul Andrew, CEO of Cros Agro Allied Ltd.:
“This investment commitment is in line with our overarching goal to help build sustainable and inclusive agribusiness in Nigeria.”
“We support Grow Africa’s approach to multi-stakeholder collaboration as an effective means to advance private sector investment that is aligned with the Government of Nigeria’s agricultural development objectives. This project seeks to contribute to the Government’s target of increasing potato production to reach 450,000 metric tonnes in five years.”
“We particularly welcome the Government’s commitment to promoting an enabling environment, which gives investors like us the confidence to invest in our country’s agriculture sector.”
Cros Agro is a diversified agribusiness company with 3,200 hectares of farmland in Kaduna State and Plateau State in northern Nigeria. To date, the company’s farms have cultivated over 700 hectares of oil palm trees, ginger, banana, and potato. The company has also concluded plans to acquire coffee farms in the Kafanchan area of Kaduna State and in Jos, Plateau State.