Home Business Industry GB Foods unveils Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest tomato processing plant in Kebbi State
Industry - March 10, 2024

GB Foods unveils Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest tomato processing plant in Kebbi State

L-R: The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning of Nigeria, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; CEO, GB Foods, Mr. Ignasi Ricou; The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Juan Sell; Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Dr. Nasir Idris; The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari; The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris; Emir of Yauri, Dr. Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi and  MD/CEO GB Foods Nigeria, Vincent Egbe, during the commissioning of a state-of-the-art integrated tomato processing plant and expanded farm facilities in Gafara, Kebbi State  on Friday, March 8, 2024.

Stanley Ihedigbo

Leading culinary company with footprints in over 50 African and European countries, GB Foods has announced a significant expansion of its investment in Nigeria.

The company inaugurated a state-of-the-art integrated tomato processing plant and expanded farm facilities in Gafara, in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

The farm and factory, spanning 1500 hectares of land, boasts a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and generates 2000 jobs, which GB Foods plans to double in the next expansion phase. When completed, the farm and processing facility will be Africa’s biggest integrated tomato project.

The landmark event witnessed a convergence of key dignitaries, including the President of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari.

The event was also graced by the Chief Host, the Governor of Kebbi State, as well as the Minister of Budget and National Planning and former Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, along with the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Muhammad Idris, and other important government officials.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari, lauded GB Foods’ investment, which he said affirms the confidence of foreign investors in Nigeria’s policy environment.

“Let me say that this is the second time I’m coming to Kebbi State in a little over a month. First, I visited a Rice Mill, the largest in West Africa, and today I’m visiting the largest tomato factory in Africa, all in Kebbi State.” He added.

In his speech, Kebbi State Governor, Comrade Dr Nasir Idris, Kauran Gwandu, commended the company for its boldness in tackling challenges head-on, noting that while the project began under the leadership of former Governor Atiku Bagudu, it has been completed during his tenure.

He expressed gratitude to the company for engaging 3,335 local out-growers for tomato production in the state and pledged full government support to ensure the plant operates at maximum capacity.

Governor Idris emphasized the significance of the factory as the largest tomato processing facility and promised to provide the necessary assistance and protection for its success.

GB Foods Nigeria’s CEO, Vincent Egbe, expressed gratitude to the special guest and attendees, adding, “During the 2022-23 season, GB Foods’ farm and factory in Kebbi played a pivotal role in generating 75 per cent of the total tomato concentrate produced in Nigeria. Despite this significant contribution, the demand still exceeds the supply, highlighting the need for further expansion and advancement in the sector. In December 2023, the company further solidified its position by expanding its Lagos tomato sachet factory to an unprecedented 100,000 metric tons, securing its position as the largest of its kind globally”.

Egbe reiterated that GB Foods is expanding its investment despite the macroeconomic challenges so Nigeria can become self-sufficient in tomato production and an export hub.

“Today’s ground-breaking event is a testament to what we stand for and the potential of investments in Nigeria. We have laid the foundation as the first large-scale tomato processing company in Nigeria to expand into backward integration, constructing a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and developing 1,500 hectares of tomato farms here in Kebbi State.

“We are fully committed to long-term investment across the entire agricultural value chain in alignment with the federal government’s quest for employment and, most significantly, ensure food security across the country”, he added.

The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Juan Sell, and key executives of GB Foods, such as the global CEO, Ignasi Ricou, and Africa CEO, Vicenç Bosch. Also present were the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi, members of the National Assembly representing Kebbi State, and Kebbi State Executive Council members.

As the company continues to expand its business, it assures Nigerians of its mission to continually strengthen Nigeria’s image, drive economic growth, create sustainable opportunities, and pave the way for a more food-secure future.

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