We are investing in Nigeria to facilitate growth of the agro- & food processing industry
Bühler operates from four different locations in West Africa and Central Africa to be closest to the market and customers: Abidjan, Ivory Coast (sub-regional headquarters); Lagos, Nigeria; Kano, Nigeria and Douala, Cameroon.
In Abidjan, we have a Management, Customer Relation and Customer Service Team with about 14 people covering West and Central Africa, as well as the CICC (Cocoa Innovation and Competence Center). The CICC is a fully-fledged cocoa processing plant on lab-scale, which our customers and partners can use for recipe, process, and product development as well as training with their and our experts.
In Lagos, we are present with a team of 25 people. We offer support in project conceptualization, technical consulting, project management, installation, and commissioning as well as prompt and reliable after sales services. We have just moved into a brand new office – feel free to visit us any time.
In Kano, we have a Sales and Customer Service Team with 4 people. We believe in the North of Nigeria to be the market of the future. We are currently building the Grain Processing Innovation Center (GPIC) in Kano – a fully fletched application mill for whole-grain products. Upon completion in Q1 2023, we will be able to support the Nigerian agribusiness and milling industry to successfully master the transition from a predominately wheat-import-oriented industry to a diverse one, utilizing various local grains, which are produced and processed in Nigeria itself.
This will help Nigeria to gain food independence, improve food security and reduce the forex-burden that wheat importation generates. The GPIC will also become our Center of Competence for local grain milling with a sophisticated technology setup. We will use also use the facility to conduct trainings to improve the skill level available in Nigeria.
We started building up a Team based in Douala, Cameroon, which will cover the Central African Region.
What is the role of Bühler in facilitating the growth of the food and milling industry in Nigeria?
We are heavily investing in our setup in Nigeria to facilitate the growth of the Nigerian agro- and food processing industry through an holistic support approach covering support in conceptualization, business modelling, technology supply and financing solutions: Bühler is a one shop one stop solution provider.
What solutions does Bühler provide to the key sectors of the economy in west Africa?
A: Milling, grains, noodles, pasta and animal feed
Bühler provides full industrial solutions for grain and oilseed handling and milling including grain handling (cleaning, drying, storage, ship- loading and unloading) as well as milling and bulk/big pack/10-50kg bagging.
Buhler can support customers in leveraging circular economy dynamics to add value to side streams and by- products
Commodities that we cover include but are not limited to wheat, rye, maize, oats, sorghum/millets, pulses, teff/fonio, soya, rapeseed and sunflower.
Further, Bühler provides pasta plants for durum/wheat and gluten-free / local grain pasta as well as instant noodle lines (Asian Noodles). We also provide industrial solutions for animal and aqua feed plants.
B: Cocoa, chocolate and confectionery
Bühler offers industrial solutions for cocoa processing (from cleaning till pressing) as well as full chocolate, compound and spread processing solutions (chocolate mass till moulding). We also provide solutions for sugar grinding, nut grinding (nut butter) as well as various confectionary products (creams, marshmallow, cereal/snack/nut/protein bars).
Bühler took over the Austrian company Haas, market leader in wafer and biscuit processing in 2016. Now Bühler is providing full solutions from grain intake till finished value-added product (e.g. wafer or biscuit). This allows us to support our customer taking advantage of the circular economy: Increasing profits while reducing CO2e emissions: e.g. food parks, downstream integration.
Bühler also offers solutions for extruded snacks (e.g. chin-chin, cheese balls, etc.) and breakfast cereals (corn flakes, extruded products such as wheat pillows, choco shells, rice crispies, loops, etc).
What are the opportunities for the food industry in west Africa to adopt new technologies such as digitalization? What are the challenges ?
Opportunities: Vast and rich arable land, young work force, increasing wheat prices due to the war in Ukraine – this demands demand for sustainable local starch and protein sources.
Challenges: Access to finance, unstable political climate, security issues and inefficient supply chains.
What are the opportunities to incorporate sustainability in the food industry in West Africa?
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important not only in developed but also emerging markets.
The supply chain disruptions triggered by the Covid-19 and Ukraine crisis have shown that countries have to become more self-sufficient in terms of food supplies: Prices for energy and logistics are soaring, wheat availability is at stake and power supplies are inconsistent.
Bühler can support customers in leveraging circular economy dynamics to add value to side-streams and by-products (e.g. from bran to animal and aqua feed or biscuits/wafers/baked products with nutritional benefits), add further value to intermediate products (e.g. from flour to biscuit/wafer) and use husks and shells to generate energy (bio-combustion).
We have executed several food park projects around the world (including Egypt and Angola), which can be multiplied in various geographies. Also, on a smaller scale, we have helped customers to turn their low-value by-products into added-value products.
What are Bühler’s future plans in Nigeria & West Africa?
We will support countries, governments, customers and partners with 360° support from conceptualization over business planning, financing, technology, training and after-sales support out of our knowledge hubs in Lagos, Douala and Abidjan.
For this, Bühler has already invested substantially into our infrastructure (CICC, Abidjan) and is continuing to do so (GPIC, Kano). In parallel Bühler, is building up capacities and capabilities within the region. We are expected to grow to a team size of about 100 by 2025. This will allow us to respond faster to our customers’ needs while we follow the credo: In the region, for the region.