NIGERIA- Adani Staple Crop Processing Zone Food Company Limited, a subsidiary of Ella Lakes Plc, has partnered with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in quest to tap into Nigeria’s US$780 million soybean market.
IITA, on the other hand, is a nonprofit organization that works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, with the ultimate goal of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.
Driven by export demand and local needs for edible oils, the two institutions have announced the signing of a seed production and technical support agreement to produce high-yielding soybean seed varieties in Nigeria.
Nigeria is among the largest soybean producers in Africa with an average production of 500,000MT per year
According to Chuka Mordi, the Chief Executive Officer of Ella Lakes Plc, the demand for soybean in Nigeria is estimated to be more than 1.2 million metric tons per annum, which is a market value of over N360 billion (US$780 million).
The agreement between the two companies is on a seed multiplication program where IITA will provide its expertise and all the technical support necessary for the production and supply of basic seeds and high-quality breeding seeds.
The first phase of the program is expected to commence on five hectares of land located in IITA Ibadan in Oyo estate on a trial basis before subsequent planting on 500 hectares in Adani, Enugu estate.
The partnership will allow Adani SCPZ to significantly boost productivity at its 3,700-hectare farm in Adani, Enugu State, and will be on track to achieving a target output of 7,500 metric tons of soybean per annum upon full cultivation of the property
The improved variety of breeder seeds is also expected to increase the yield rate to 2.5 metric tons of quality soybean per hectare, 150per cent higher than the current national average of 1.0 metric tons per hectare.
Additionally, the partners are optimistic that the new seed variety will generate an output that corresponds to that of South American countries Brazil (4-4.5 MT/Ha) and Argentina (2.5-3MT/Ha), the world’s top producers of oilseeds.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of Ella Lakes Plc, Chuka Mordi, said, “This is a symbolic and significant milestone on our company’s strategic path to build Staple Crop Processing Zones across the country.