by Ayo Opeoluwa
Kaduna state government on Saturday launched the massive $120 million Vicampro Potato Farm and Processing facility in Manchok, Kaura. The Vicampro Potato farm which according to the governor is a product of the Kaduna Economic Summit held five months earlier is expected to cover 10,000 hectares of land and to create about 30,000 jobs, it is reputed to be the biggest in sub Sahara Africa. The governor said the plant would earn foreign exchange and reduce dependence on oil. He further stated that the state was determined to promote agricultural best practices to boost development, diversify the economy and increase Internally Generated Revenue.
Kaduna is gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with in agricultural productivity and investment, according to the governor “Today Kaduna is becoming a much easier place to do business and our efforts have already started yielding positive results. We have Olam of Singapore investing $150 million to build the largest integrated poultry and feed mill in Nigeria. Similarly Dangote Group is investing in a 7000 hectare tomato farm and a processing plant in Kaduna State”. The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele who was also in attendance emphasized the need for the diversification of the economy because of the drop in oil prices; he commended the Kaduna State government for supporting the CBN to guarantee stable micro economy. Vicampro according to its MD, Michael Agbogbo would be producing French fries, Irish flakes and biscuits for local and international consumption.
Facts about the Vicampro Tomato farm in Kaduna
It is a partnership with an agricultural firm, Vicampro which entails the setting up of a modern multi- billion naira French fries/Potato plant in Manchok, Kaura local government area of the state
The processing plant when completed would be the biggest not only in West Africa but also reputed to be the largest in sub Sahara Africa
To offer 30,000 direct jobs to the teeming unemployed youths
Vicampro, operators of the plant would buy the potatoes from the farmers for production as 60% of the product is to exported
The plant has the capacity to process 2,500 tonnes of potatoes daily.
It is expected to cover 10,000 hectares