NEWS DETAIL: RMRDC TO PARTNER WITH AMERICAN COMPANY AND NIGER STATE GOVERNMENT ON DEVELOPMENT OF SUGAR BEET
Following are the details of the news:
The DG Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim said the Council has developed three diverse value chain from Sorghum; Ethanol which is the basic raw material for the production of sanitizers, Glucose syrup, and livestock feeds.
The DG made this known at the Council’s Headquarters when the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Alh. Ahmed Mohammed Ketso paid him a working visit at the Council recently in Abuja.
He also disclosed that the Niger State Government among other things has graciously given the Council one hundred (100) hectares of land in Tagina to work on sorghum.
The DG said the Council is also working hard on sugar beet production to achieve a huge reduction in the importation of sugar in the Country.
He further stated that almost 90 per cent of the sugar consumed in the Country was imported which was a concern to the Council because of the huge foreign exchange the Country spent on importation
“we have been looking at the alternatives even though we know, part of our work is to support the sugar Development Council in times of providing improved and better sugarcane seedlings”.
The work on sugar beet started with Belgium company and that the Council has done the trials in many States and Niger State was one of them. The American Nigeria company which is also vast in sugar production is willing to take it into market, he added.
The DG said, the equipment and machinery for the sugar project have arrived in Nigeria but because of the COVID-19 pandemic that had delayed the project, the team has not been able to assemble equipment to start the project.
He said there are so many programmes that the Council is working on and collaborating with the Niger State; the cotton production, cashew production and its by-products, tomatoes production, and so many of them.
“I want to also put it on record that the deputy Governor is quite interested in the cashew production and that he promised the Council will provide improved cashew seedlings to the State Government.
The DG applauded the State Governments’ partnership for providing the Council with required land infrastructure and support in order to achieve the Federal Government’s Agricultural policies,” he added.
Speaking during the working visit, the deputy Governor, Alh. Ahmed Mohammed Ketso said the Niger State is blessed with a lot of lands particularly on Agriculture; rice farming, corn and so many things.
The deputy Governor lamented that, “Nigeria for years has depended so much on oil and that has affected most of us in terms of moving from where we are to the next level of food production and the most important thing that is key, is that we have to diversify from crude oil and be innovative so as to meet pressing economic needs”, he added.
Ketso urged the Council to embark on the sensitization of Nigerians on how our locally sourced raw materials can be leverage upon to create value addition.
He said he personally has passion to go into cashew production and stressed the need for the youth in the Country to support various agricultural policies of the Government by leveraging on the Country’s enormous raw materials.
Ketso said, “we cannot depend on a particular product to survive. Nigeria is blessed, we have mineral deposit. Cashew is not an exception, it has so many potentials”. He further stressed that Nigerian Government either both the Federal and State Government don’t have capacity to engage all our graduates and for that we must diversify.