Two separate private companies based in the United States and India, GGRL Agro Limited & Prasad Remington, have agreed to set up a 30 hectares pilot hybrid seed production and processing plant in Doma, headquarters of Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Representative of the companies and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), US-based Prasad Remington Seed Company, Dr. Dileepkumar Guntuku, disclosed this while on a courtesy visit at the Government House, on Friday.
While emphasizing on the significance of quality seeds on food production, Guntuku said the goals of the companies he is representing, is the breach the deficit in terms of production capacities of smallholder farmers in Africa, which remains at 1.5 tonnes per hectare, unlike the 10.5 hectares in the US.
Guntuku, who barely returned from inspecting the project site along the Doma Dam, couldn’t hide his excitement with the potentials of business opportunities in the state.
He said his companies are willing to contribute not only to the Nigerian economy but also help towards addressing global food security by ensuring that farmers have access to quality seeds that will enhance production.
He explained that this has become more imperative with prediction that by 2050, the population of the world is expected to reach 9.5bn which will put more pressure on food.
Gutunku pointed out that quality seeds are essential elements if the world will meet the rising food demand.
He said the two companies are together moving into Africa, particularly Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda, with Nasarawa State chosen for its pilot project.
“Both the companies are into seed manufacturing and the processing industry. We produce the seeds and after post harvesting, we make the investment to set up the large factory,” he said.
He said they were at the Government House to sought for the support and cooperation of the Governor.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, thanked the companies for choosing the state to do their business, stressing that agriculture is a top priority to the people of the state.
Engineer Sule said his administration is always on ground to advise potential investors on areas that will be of maximum benefits to both the investor and the state.
According to the Governor, even though Nasarawa State is not among the top maize producers in the country, the idea of setting up the maize seeds plant will push the state to compete with the major producers like Kaduna State.
He used the opportunity of the highlight on the comparative advantage of the state in the area of agriculture, adding that currently, Nasarawa State is number in the country when it comes to sesame production, second in terms of yam and fifth in rice production.
“Nasarawa is doing well in agriculture at the moment. And one of the things that has gone well for us, we thank the almighty God and all our other stakeholders is the fact that there is ensuing security,” he stated.
He expressed the determination of his administration to reposition the state to take a leading stage in the area of food and crops production in the country.
“Any time I am looking at the numbers and I am not sure Nasarawa State is not one of the best five, I just jump into some other things. We are an agricultural state. We should be able to afford the top five everywhere we are. And that’s the way it is,” he said.