Production has begun at Nigeria’s first sugarcane bio-factory in the city of Zaria at Kaduna state.
The facility, which will have the capacity to produce one million sugarcane seedlings per annum, was declared open by Nigerian trade minister Olusegun Aganga at Zaria’s Ahmadu Bello University in May 2015.
“A bio-factory is a facility where disease-free crop seedlings are rapidly micro-propagated under a controlled laboratory environment for planting in the fields,” Aganga explained.
“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.”
The factory is the first in a series of five such facilities to be built across the country over the next five years, the minister said, estimating their total capacity at between 10mn and 12.5mn seedlings per annum.
The factories form part of Nigeria’s National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), which aims to achieve sugar producing self-sufficiency in the country.